Rhine Bridge north of Cologne: Calamities worsen
Photo (Raimond Spekking / CC via Wikimedia): Current access limitations for Leverkusen bridge
Leverkusen: The important Rhine crossing bridge of German autobahn A 1 at Leverkusen, north of Cologne, has reached its life expectancy. For years, traffic is limited and heavy trucks are not allowed on the bridge. This results in significant detours via Düsseldorf or via central Cologne. Now, quality problems with steel elements imported from China halt the construction of the replacement bridge.
A first part of the new bridge was meant to open in late 2021. However, key elements appear not to meet German norms and quality demands. The minister of transport for the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia has now terminated the building contract and will issue a new tender. The construction company will likely challenge the decision in court. A new opening date may therefore be no earlier than late 2013.
Read the news here (external link, German language).
Covid-19: EU emergency regulations on rail sector
Brussels: Reductions in rail services result in lack of revenue and in different cost structures for rail operators. Sticking to the legal framework of EU subsidies would in many cases cause bankruptcy. It would therefore threaten the remaining indispensable services as well. Therefore, the EU has outlined a set of measures in a letter to rail directors. Many rules on standards and on subsidies are altered or temporarily suspended. Find the detailed information here:
Exceptional measures in transport to deal with COVID-19; Inability to comply with certain provisions of EU legislation (external link, DG Mobility and Transport).
General state aid rules and coronavirus (external link, DG Competition).
5th anniversary of EGTC Rhine-Apine
Photo: Founding of EGTC Rhine-Alpine in 2015
Mannheim: The EGTC Rhine-Alpine was founded on 25 April 2015. After five years of its existence, it has grown from 10 to 25 members. The EGTC has successfully elaborated an Action Plan, lead or participated in EU-projects and has gained reputation, e.g. as full member of the EU-Corridor Forum Rhine-Alpine in Brussels!
For the time being, we cannot fix any date for the next EGTC meetings to come. But we will keep you updated about our proposal for the next meetings and their format. In particular, the six thematic focus groups are already used to remote cooperation and are thus asked to continue to do so now in order to fill the Action Plan with life.