For years, the community of hemhofen has been pushing for the construction of a bicycle path along the state highway, past the suburb of zeckern to the B 470. Construction began for it on tuesday. The heavily traveled road itself is also being resurfaced and widened.
Work on the 600-meter section from the edge of town to the B 470 is expected to be completed in just six weeks. In order to implement the 700,000-euro project in such a relatively short time, however, the road must be completely closed to traffic. During these planned six weeks, all vehicles will be rerouted through the town via zeckerner hauptstrabe.
"Without full closure, the extension of the state road 2259 would not have been feasible", says project manager pankraz schwarzmann from the bamberg state construction office. The upper franconians have taken over this project after consultation with their colleagues from nurnberg, because the larger part of the construction section lies in the district of forchheim.
The road is now much wider. From the outdated 5.50 meters it will be extended to 7.50 meters. In addition at the eastern side a 2,50 meter wide cycle track is added. This is the extension of the path that the municipality of hemhofen has created a long time ago and which then closes the gap to the bike path along the federal highway. Up to the junction of the kreisstrabe to poppendorf, the new road will even be illuminated at the expense of the municipality of hemhofen.
Drivers on the B 470 will only notice that the main road is closed at the junction with the zeckerner hauptstrabe detour. A temporary traffic light system has been regulating traffic here since tuesday.
According to project manager schwarzmann, this is necessary to allow vehicles coming from the direction of forchheim to turn off in the direction of zeckern/hemhofen, but also to allow them to enter the B 470 from zeckerner hauptstrabe.
Schwarzmann defends the full closure: "without it, the construction time would have been three to four months." However, the current occupational health and safety regulations for the construction workers alone do not allow this work to be carried out without a full road closure.
The work started on tuesday with the mechanical digging of the rootstock on one side and the falling of trees every second on the other side of the road. Meanwhile, traffic jammed at the narrow sections in zeckern as 40-ton trucks made their way through the main street.
The detour route is not quite ideal, says burgermeister ludwig nagel (CSU). Already before his time the municipality had agreed to this solution. However, the companies had been informed about the road closure in advance. Nagel appeals to the common sense of truck drivers to drive around the closed section of the road, and he hopes that the residents will survive the six weeks. Schwarzmann gives the mayor hope: "after the first few days, the chaos will be sorted out again."