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Old November 25th, 2013, 05:51 PM   #5841
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Technically it only applies to tunnels part of the Trans-European Network (the Netherlands decided to let it apply to every tunnel).
Ok. So no problem if the AADT will actually exceed the prediction.
I think Germany has also decided to apply it to every tunnel.

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The 19800 vpd value seems like a manipulated traffic model to not having to comply with these standards. Otherwise it would be a huge coincidence, and I don't believe in that.
Yes, it must be manipulated.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 02:02 PM   #5842
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Some examples were given recently in this thread, but these are arguably the most illustrative:
From 1991 to 2012, Germany reduced its budget for maintenance by 20 percent, according to Gernot Sieg, a transportation expert and professor at the University of Muenster. It now spends 1.5 percent of its gross domestic product on maintenance, compared with a European average of 2.5 percent. About 46 percent of Germany’s bridges, 41 percent of its streets and 20 percent of its highways need repair, Dr. Sieg said. (NY Times)
Over the past two decades, money spent by the government on roads, bridges, railways and public transport infrastructure has fallen in real terms or stagnated, while in the period 1991 to 2010, the usage of the roads for passenger journeys increased by about 27 percent and freight by 75 percent, statistics published by the Environment Ministry and DIW show. As a result, the spending shortfall on upkeep of the transport network is running at about 4 billion euros as year, the DIW says. That’s causing fraying throughout. According to a report prepared for the German parliament in January, 14 percent of the country’s 39,000 highway bridges are in a condition that could compromise traffic safety. (Bloomberg)
This Summer a few concrete Autobahnen in southern Germany were damaged due to the heat. This could have been an incident, but recently more and more examples emerged showing the decline of Germany's roads. The Rader Hochbrücke (A7) was recently closed for all trucks due to emergency repairs, which caused massive traffic jams. The Rheinbrücke (A1) in Leverkusen is crumbling as we speak, idem for the Schwelmtalbrücke (A1) near Wuppertal, and more bridges are in desperate need of repair or replacement. The same applies to all bridges on the A45. It's estimated by the Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik that before 2030 a total 67,000 bridges need to be repaired or replaced. A growing number of Autobahnen is facing gridlock, but the length of time it takes to get planning permission and eventually a new road built is quite long.

From my experience, many roads in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony are in bad or sometimes terrible shape. It's good to see that some are currently being fixed, but many others aren't. And in my opinion, projects like the Lövenich tunnel (A1) in Cologne; the new viaduct at Kreuz Oberhausen (A3); the northern bypass of Bad Oeynhausen (A30); widening of the A5 near Karlsruhe; widening of the A57 near Neuss; or the A33 between Osnabrück and Bielefeld, could and should (have) be(en) finished much earlier. Especially compared to new projects nowadays in the Netherlands (where planning of some projects took decades not that long ago).

The truth is that Germany has neglected its infrastructure. It looks like there is something fundamentally wrong with the attitude towards its roads, not only considering the closed crumbling bridges, but also because of the terrible slow construction of most projects, funding issues and ghostly unused construction sites.
You do realise that you just cited the scaremongering numbers of certain lobby groups, don't you. What you fail to deliver though, and that is what was actually needed to prove your point, is an objective assessments of the state of German roads in comparison to other European countries.

I can assure you that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the German attitude towards its roads. It seems to me, however, that your attitude towards Germany and German roads in particular is fundamentally flawed.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 05:42 PM   #5843
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You do realise that you just cited the scaremongering numbers of certain lobby groups, don't you. What you fail to deliver though, and that is what was actually needed to prove your point, is an objective assessments of the state of German roads in comparison to other European countries.

I can assure you that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the German attitude towards its roads. It seems to me, however, that your attitude towards Germany and German roads in particular is fundamentally flawed.
Well, it seems like I've touched a raw nerve. First of all, my attitude towards Germany and German roads in particular is not fundamentally flawed. I visit Germany quite often and love being there, and have driven a large part of the Autobahn network, so I'm quite familiar with it. That does not necessarily imply my impressions are representative for the current state of Germany's infrastructure, but it does provide some insights.

Second, the facts are out there, the examples were given, and many forum members (and even politicians) seem to disagree with you. The truth is that investment in the maintenance and quality assurance of the transport infrastructure has been largely neglected, which became especially clear when many bridges were investigated or even closed (for trucks). Arguably worst is the Rheinbrücke (A1) in Leverkussen, from which not even could be guarenteed it will be there in 2020. This is not "scaremongering of certain lobby groups", this is the truth which painfully exposes the negligence of essential parts of the infrastructure. This is perhaps the worst example, but not an exception as earlier mentioned in this thread.

Claiming that I "fail to deliver (...) an objective assessments of the state of German roads in comparison to other European countries" is ironic, considering you haven't come with any evidence, source or figures which prove otherwise and could back up your claim. Instead you only suggest the presented evidence were cooked up by "certain lobby groups".

One of these "lobby groups" is the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW), which presented this Summer a publication about the current situation regarding Germany's infrastructure (complete report here). They conclude that Germany is living off its reserves. Both the state and the private sector spend too little money on infrastructure. According to OECD statistics, Germany only spends 1.6 percent of its GDP on infrastructure (2006-2011), which is considerably less than the US and most other European nations. As written here: "to put this spending into context depreciation of public infrastructure in Germany has been outstripping investment for over a decade. (...) In 2012, German public infrastructure investment of €39.5bn was down 9.5 percent from 2011 in inflation adjusted terms." In this article, a spokesman for the German Ministry of Transport told Reuters the situation was one of "structural under-investment."

So, to quote a certain forum member: "It seems to me, however, that your attitude towards Germany and German roads in particular is fundamentally flawed."
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Last edited by 909; November 26th, 2013 at 08:23 PM.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 06:42 PM   #5844
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There is no doubt that the German network of motorways in general is impressive. However, what is completely impossible for me to understand is the special role the german system gives to environment organisations like BUND and NABU that have a right to come up with objections to motorway projects even if not directly concerned (defenders of a general interest to protect the environment). Although the idea might have been good in the beginning, these organisations (close to the green party) now use this tool to 1) systematically delay and render much more expensive all motorway projects (in that way it is a victory for them since Germany gets much less motorway kms for its money), 2) pose objections rather based on general political standpoints than the stretch of motorway in question, or 3) manages to find a beetle, bat or frog in the vicinity of the projected road. In doing so, they are allowed to completetly short-circuit democracy. Politicians on both natiaonal and Bundes Land-level that have put their support to road infrastructure upgrade to the electoral test (often seeeral times) are incapable of implementing such a programme since the environmental organisations, often representing a small minority are able to block (or render so expensive that progress is seriously delayed. This is at the heart of many of the delays in new motorway construction and upgrades, so desparately needed in some parts of Germany.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 10:06 PM   #5845
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Originally Posted by 909 View Post
Claiming that I "fail to deliver (...) an objective assessments of the state of German roads in comparison to other European countries" is ironic, considering you haven't come with any evidence, source or figures which prove otherwise and could back up your claim. Instead you only suggest the presented evidence were cooked up by "certain lobby groups".
You aren't quite fit and well, are you. You spit vile on a country which you don't really know. You make claims which you have yet to prove. And now you want me to show evidence? You may twist the burden of prove with someone else but certainly not with me.

You said Germany's infrastructure was the sick man of Europe. I give you the hint that the only way to prove that is an objective assessment of the current state of all parts of infrastructure, not just roads, in Germany and in every other country. And don't repeat the same number over and over again. We already know that this country spends too little currently. But what you seem to forget is that this Germany has built up a lot of substance in the past which it can live off for a long time.

But when you think that there is no substance in German infrastructure, that it is better everywhere else, that water pipes in Britain are less leaky, that motorway tunnels in Switzerland are safer, that waste disposal works better in Italy, that retaining walls in Austria collapse less often, that sewage in France is more intensively treated and that cycle paths in Poland are more sophisticated than all their counterparts in Germany then go on and prove it.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 11:48 PM   #5846
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You aren't quite fit and well, are you. You spit vile on a country which you don't really know.
No, I don't spit vile on a country I'm quite familiar with and which I appreciate, but I'm very critical about Germany's negligence and lack of investments. Although the upcoming coalition has vowed to boost investments in infrastructure, it has to be seen if they can and will turn the tide.

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You make claims which you have yet to prove. And now you want me to show evidence?
Yes, contrary to you I have given facts and figures backed by different sources, including the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW). If you think my views are wrong, then go ahead and prove otherwise. Or stop whining.

It might be of interest for your that Die Welt has a special section dedicated to Infrastruktur - Wie Deutschland verfällt. Are you planning to write angry letters to them as well?

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You may twist the burden of prove with someone else but certainly not with me.
Not sure if this is a threat, but your statement is surely ironic, since I'm not the one without any prove or whatsoever.

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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
You said Germany's infrastructure was the sick man of Europe. I give you the hint that the only way to prove that is an objective assessment of the current state of all parts of infrastructure, not just roads, in Germany and in every other country. And don't repeat the same number over and over again. We already know that this country spends too little currently.
To be blunt, Germany is currently the infrastructural sick man of Europe. This decline is not limited to roads and rail- and waterways. But roads are the most visible parts of infrastructure and most relevant since this is a thread dedicated to it. Now you've seen the numbers yourself and acknowledged Germany spends too little, there is no need to complain about any lack of proof from my side. From this perspective I would recommend to read your replies once again.

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But what you seem to forget is that this Germany has built up a lot of substance in the past which it can live off for a long time.
The same applies to many other countries, from which some are economically and financially (and arguably political) performing less than Germany. The fact that most of the infrastructure isn't new anymore shouldn't be an excuse for the structural lack of investments and maintenance.

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But when you think that there is no substance in German infrastructure, that it is better everywhere else, that water pipes in Britain are less leaky, that motorway tunnels in Switzerland are safer, that waste disposal works better in Italy, that retaining walls in Austria collapse less often, that sewage in France is more intensively treated and that cycle paths in Poland are more sophisticated than all their counterparts in Germany then go on and prove it.
Other countries have their issues as well, but almost none are spending as little as Germany on infrastructure. The country's track record isn't good at all considering the wealth, economic power and performance, taxes, low level of corruption, industrial heritage and history, plus the fact the country is an important transport hub for the whole of Europe, and known for its Gründlichkeit. For me it's even more remarkable since Germany is in the words of Gerhard Schröder an Autofahrernation.
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Old November 26th, 2013, 11:55 PM   #5847
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Okay, but this is nothing new.
What do you suggest should be done?
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Old November 27th, 2013, 01:05 AM   #5848
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Okay, but this is nothing new.
What do you suggest should be done?
Some points were mentioned in this thread some pages ago, and most (if not all) were undoubtedly suggested by other forum members earlier:
  • Politicians should use taxes, tolls, and other fees levied on drivers also for infrastructure — not for other political projects. It's doubtful if this is realistic, but luckily an increase in government spending on infrastructure is already on the table (assuming the CDU/CSU and the SPD could form a coalition).
  • PPP (Public Private Partnership), a partnership between the government and one or more private sector companies. This could boost investments and speed of construction. Besides construction, also operation and maintenance would be done by a private company (or companies), which also collects the tolls. PPP has already been applied on some projects, for example the widening of the A1 between Bremen and Hamburg.
  • A legal framework must be implemented in order to accelerate the realization of infrastructure projects. These measures would allow important projects to be carried out, without any delay caused by legal procedures in court or elsewhere. It would also tackle the administrative obstacles and objections raised by environmentalists and nimbys (as pointed out by forum member Brussels1 a couple of posts earlier). Furthermore it would also accelerate the appeal procedures. The regulatory framework should also simplify the procedures. This has been successfully applied in the Netherlands.
  • Many new projects could and must be build much faster. Compared to most projects in the Netherlands nowadays, the speed of construction of new roads or the widening of existing ones is way too slow. PPP-projects will boost the speed of construction as well as it is in the interest of the participating companies.
  • Don't vote for the Greens.
All in all, it seems like this isn't insurmountable. It's not even a matter of money, which is there only being diverted to other political purposes, but a matter of vision, determination and decisiveness (the armchair expert has spoken).
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Last edited by 909; November 27th, 2013 at 01:23 AM.
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Old November 27th, 2013, 02:17 PM   #5849
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We know from experience that PPP on road infrastructure isn't a good deal for Germany - tax payers pay more in the long run (typically because the state has to give toll revenues to private investors). The only real advantage would be that you might be able to raise necessary funds faster, but given the very, very low cost of credit for the German Federation at the moment and that planning and permission typically takes years that's (theoretically) not really that much of an issue.

The main step forward would be a drastic reform of the permission process, but that's quite unlikely, I think.
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Old November 27th, 2013, 02:26 PM   #5850
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The case of a PPP project in Niedersachsen was only a few millions more expensive in the long run, while achieving much faster road works (saving years of construction time), making the improved infrastructure available sooner. While you can't put a price on that, a couple of lousy millions on a multi-hundred million contract is not that notable.
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Old November 27th, 2013, 02:53 PM   #5851
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We know from experience that PPP on road infrastructure isn't a good deal for Germany - tax payers pay more in the long run (typically because the state has to give toll revenues to private investors). The only real advantage would be that you might be able to raise necessary funds faster, but given the very, very low cost of credit for the German Federation at the moment and that planning and permission typically takes years that's (theoretically) not really that much of an issue.
From the financing perspective, that might be true. However, the calculations tend to ignore the embedded quality impact: In the PPP mode, the company to build the road is usually also responsible for the maintenance of the road for several years from their own pocket. That makes the companies unwilling to deliver substandard quality.

Another aspect in the PPP mode typically is the independence on the politicians. After a multi-year project has begun, it seldom will be canceled or postponed at the annual budgeting round. This, of course, is subject to the PPP agreement.

The first big PPP agreement in Finland was in place from 1997 to 2012. It was about upgrading a 80 section of the road 4/E75 to a motorway, and about its maintenance. Because the company had an incentive to get the road opened as quickly as possible, the road was complete about 12 months ahead the schedule. The road was in a good condition when it was returned to the ownership of goverment, and everyone seems to be happy.

Since that, three big projects have been agreed to be done in the PPP mode: 51 km of 1/E18 Lohja-Muurla (opened 2009, agreement period 24 years 2005-2029), 53 km of 7/E18 Koskenkylä-Kotka (under constructrion, open 2014, 15 years 2011-2026), and 32 km of 7/18 Hamina-Russian border (agreed, under planning, estimated construction 2016-2018).
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Old November 27th, 2013, 05:53 PM   #5852
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craters

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Still better then these though




Unfortunately, these craters are typical for the czech´s roads in the winter time
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Old November 27th, 2013, 11:27 PM   #5853
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In the PPP mode, the company to build the road is usually also responsible for the maintenance of the road for several years from their own pocket. That makes the companies unwilling to deliver substandard quality.
Theoretically, the state doesn't have an interest in substandard quality either as it has to pay maintenance of its infrastructure, so there's no difference there. However, in PPP mode, a private company indeed might have an interest in cutting maintenance cost as much as possible as this will directly increase its profit. As PPP contracts run for a predefined time, it would indeed be best of to keep to the contract and hand the road over to the government in the poorest condition possible when the contract ends. So the government has to invest more resources to control its contract partner as much as possible - which is not necessary if it owns the infrastructure itself.

Quote:
Another aspect in the PPP mode typically is the independence on the politicians. (...)
True. But as basically planning and clearance procedures in Germany take for ages, politicians can cancel a PPP project during that period any time as well. Hence that advantage really only comes in handy during the very last phase of preparation when it can't anymore be stopped by courts.

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Because the company had an incentive to get the road opened as quickly as possible, the road was complete about 12 months ahead the schedule.
True, but as the typical reason for delays in Germany are lawsuits in environmental issues (and those easily can take more than a few months), PPP doesn't bring any advantage here as clearance procedures are the same. Saving a few months during construction hence don't bring that much advantage at all.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 08:27 AM   #5854
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These crates on roads are the result of poor drainage and uneven subbase compacting.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 03:32 PM   #5855
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Saving a few months during construction hence don't bring that much advantage at all.
PPP projects can save as much as 10 years of construction work. A PPP project is typically long in distance, for example A1 Hamburg - Bremen (70 km), A5 south of Karlsruhe (35 km), A8 Augsburg - München (35 km) all of which were completed in 4 years. To compare, non PPP-projects like A8 Karlsruhe - Stuttgart or A3 Frankfurt - Würzburg are taking more than a decade of construction, every time a stretch of a 4 - 7 km, and then the next one. A8 Karlsruhe - Stuttgart has been under near-constant construction for about 15 years now and is still years away from completion.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 06:25 PM   #5856
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Well, you're comparing basically a widening of 2+2 lanes to 3+3 lanes (A8 Munich-Augsburg) with a almost complete reconstruction of the motorway on a new corridor (new bridges, cutting bends, etc.) in a much more demanding terrain (A8 Karlsruhe-Pforzheim). It's a bit apple and oranges there.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 06:29 PM   #5857
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So....

Austria is now sulking and moaning because Germany is about to introduce a vignette for motorway use. Can you believe the balls of this country???
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Old November 28th, 2013, 06:36 PM   #5858
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Both were difficult, because A8 Augsburg - München also was an old Reichsautobahn with no shoulders, thereby requiring an assymetrical widening (with most or all bridges and overpasses replaced). Granted, the A8 between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart requires more larger bridges, but it's the whole approach that is different, instead of employing mass men and materiel to complete the project as fast as possible, non PPP projects are mostly on a section-by-section basis, requiring much longer overall construction time, regardless of terrain.

It's a matter of money being available or not. PPP projects have all the necessary funding to complete the project as soon as realistically possible, while government-funded projects are dragged out over long periods, for example replacing the Stör Bridge near Itzehoe in northern Germany. The bridge has two spans, the first one was constructed in 3 years time, the second span in 6 years, while being identical.

Another example is the Talbrücke Nuttlar (A46) west of Brilon. Construction time is estimated at 7 - 8 years, approximately 5 years longer than it took to build similar briges in the 1970s. The 1.6 km Tunnel Neuhof (A66) near Fulda requires 9 years of construction. To compare, the construction of the PPP Fehmarn Belt Tunnel (18.5 km) takes just 6 years. Then the government-funded conversion of B404 to A23 south of Kiel (6 kilometers) requires 5.5 years of construction time, much more than a similar project in other countries would require. There are numerous examples of construction works being at a very slow pace when compared internationally.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 08:51 PM   #5859
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We also have plenty of examples of PPP projects getting built way faster in Spain. Building a second carriageway of the entire 150 kilometers of C-25, including several large viaducts and long tunnels in a very complicate terrain, took just 2 years. Such large government-funded projects take way longer to see completion.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 09:25 PM   #5860
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Then the government-funded conversion of B404 to A23 south of Kiel (6 kilometers)
A21 .

The key benefit of PPP is a shorter construction time and consequential lower economic damage.
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