Berlin The federal Autobahn GmbH will be dependent on help from the federal states for a long time to come. This emerges from a balance sheet by the federal government on the reform of the road construction administration for the budget committee of the Bundestag. The report is available to the Handelsblatt.
The most important question is when the company’s IT is running smoothly. In the past it was the reason for numerous problems of the GmbH. There were even construction stops on the freeways. Without the IT cooperation, the chaos would have become even greater, they say.
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In the government balance sheet, only one hope is formulated here. “Autobahn GmbH’s goal remains that by the end of 2023 all the necessary IT resources will have been set up in order to be able to work independently of the contributions from the federal states.”
Only half of the cooperation agreements will end in 2023
The delays in the individual cooperation agreements with the countries are clearer. Autobahn GmbH has made 60 such individual cooperation agreements (E-KOV) with the federal states. This involves, for example, mutual support in road maintenance, traffic management, tunnel monitoring or project security.
This shows once again how messed up this whole reform is, which is now costing us all EUR 2.3 billion a year. Victor Perli, budget politician of the left
According to the government, 15 of these have ended, 19 are due to expire at the end of the year, “so that according to current plans, 34 of the 60 E-KOV will be completed by the end of 2023,” the report says. The mixed management is thus continued.
“Even three years after its launch, Autobahn GmbH will still be dependent on massive support from the federal states,” sums up Left Party budget politician Victor Perli. “This shows again how messed up this whole reform is, which now costs us all 2.3 billion euros a year,” he told the Handelsblatt.
Perli called on Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) to first complete the reform and otherwise to take care of the preservation of the motorways and the bridge renovation. “Because there really is enough to do there. But instead, Wissing is pushing ahead with controversial new constructions such as the A100 or the A20 with a lot of energy and thus overloading the Autobahn GmbH.”
Autobahn boss warns of a “tsunami wave” at the bridges
Deutsche Unit Fernstrassenplanungs- und -bau GmbH (Deges) handles many major projects. The federal government wants to transfer the project management company of the federal and state governments to Autobahn GmbH. But the project is not progressing either. The twelve federal states involved in Deges are holding on to their shares in order to handle major projects on federal and state roads with Deges.
the federal government wants to strengthen or renew each year.
Deges also repairs bridges. The motorway company itself is not yet in a position to carry out extensive renovations. This emerges from a response from the federal government to a request from the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, which is available to the Handelsblatt.
Instead of immediately renovating 400 bridges a year, the traffic light only intends to continuously increase the number of modernized bridges to 400 a year by 2026, criticized the deputy parliamentary group leader Ulrich Lange (CSU). “The so-called progress coalition is definitely not sending a signal of acceleration, rather it is also a matter of parting by installments from the once ambitious goals.”
In view of the poor condition of the motorway bridges and the short-term closure of a viaduct near Lüdenscheid in December 2021, the federal government had set itself the goal after a crisis summit in spring 2022 of “reinforcing or renewing all around 4000 bridges in less than ten years”. The number of completed bridges should increase from “previously 200 to 400 bridges per year”.
The Autobahn company hopes to standardize and modularly build bridges in the future. The situation is like a tsunami wave: “If we don’t get faster, then this mountain will crash down on us,” said Managing Director Stephan Krenz. At the moment, bridges are still thought of as individual projects. He relies “very heavily on the card of standardization”, for example via type designs. On the A1 near Münster, the construction industry is already using “express bridge systems”, bridge girders made of prestressed concrete that are up to 45 meters long.
More: Nothing is progressing on Germany’s construction sites – “We can no longer work like this”