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Old June 17th, 2017, 07:18 PM   #9301
Bender
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Money buys human resources, I am sure there are plenty of engineering agencies who would not mind a juicy contract with the State.
I take this Autobahn pretty much every day. I already know I will retire before it's done
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Old June 17th, 2017, 07:28 PM   #9302
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Money buys human resources, I am sure there are plenty of engineering agencies who would not mind a juicy contract with the State.
Yes, it's reported that construction companies pay more than road authorities and that's one reason why it's not possible for them to get employees. Road authorities cannot increase the salary for new engineers like construction companies can.

Note: Almost all state's road authorities (Bavaria is an exception) had reduced the number of engineers just 10 or 15 years ago due to cut of funding.
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Old June 17th, 2017, 09:01 PM   #9303
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In the Netherlands engineering firms are heavily involved in the planning process. Not that much is done in-house anymore. The downside is that road authorities lose expertise. On the other hand the private sector is more innovative. The 'we've done it like this for 50 years so why should we change anything' argument doesn't fly anymore.
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Old June 17th, 2017, 09:42 PM   #9304
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Likewise in the UK - external consultants do the vast majority of work.
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Old June 18th, 2017, 10:54 PM   #9305
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The 'we've done it like this for 50 years so why should we change anything' argument doesn't fly anymore.
Yes, it´s substituted by the argument, let´s do it as cheap as possible and tell the state everything is fine. I don´t give a penny for this anglo-american attitude.

Don´t tell about fire-protection, let the supplier do the fassade of high-rise buildings, even if they burn afterwards. It works, because there is no one with knowledge, having an eye on security.
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Old June 18th, 2017, 10:57 PM   #9306
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but that building was owned and managed by the government... it's like the opposite of what you are wanting to argue - and, naturally, very much Anglo
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Old June 18th, 2017, 11:04 PM   #9307
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Yes, it´s substituted by the argument, let´s do it as cheap as possible and tell the state everything is fine. I don´t give a penny for this anglo-american attitude.
I agree but it seems that German road authorities do it this way. Just look at the desaster with our bridges... And congested roads are not safer than empty roads. Just look at the cars crashing into trucks in front of our Baustellen...

Safety first... It feels like having sex with a holey condom. It's "safe"...

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Safety, not security!
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Old June 20th, 2017, 09:32 PM   #9308
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I agree but it seems that German road authorities do it this way. Just look at the desaster with our bridges... And congested roads are not safer than empty roads. Just look at the cars crashing into trucks in front of our Baustellen...
Well, first of all, private consulting firms are deeply involved into planning in Germany, too. It´s about having a state control not only on safety, but also on costs. If you give up that control and competence it´s getting expensive.

The main pro-argument for the so called federal Infrstrukturbehörde for me is another. If for example budget and planning is done for widening the bloody rest of A7 north of Göttingen up to six-lanes it´s still the county of Niedersachsen, which could delay the construction-process. It´s obvious, that a left-wing/green government don´t put that focus on Autobahn-construction.

Now if you put the counties construction-agencies together into a federal authority it could happen, that A7 widening is started if budget and plannihng is ready and no county-government could cause a delay.
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Old June 21st, 2017, 08:03 PM   #9309
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Sure but a federal left/green government might delay projects all over Germany

I don't wanna comment the rest...
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Old June 21st, 2017, 08:18 PM   #9310
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Yes, it´s substituted by the argument, let´s do it as cheap as possible and tell the state everything is fine. I don´t give a penny for this anglo-american attitude.
A couple of observations about German road development though;

1) quality
As people are well aware, the condition of German infrastructure, being it bridges, roads, railroads, canals or sluices, is quite poor. Things being 'marode' is reported on in the German media on a daily basis. In areas like Nordrhein-Westfalen, some motorways such as A1 and A45 are almost completely written off, virtually all bridges - including interchanges, overpasses and small underpasses - need to be demolished. In many cases, they need to be demolished much earlier than they were originally designed for. They blame the heavy truck traffic - which is likely true to some extent - but the scale on which infrastructure needs to be demolished is mind-boggling compared to other countries with bridges of similar age. Bad bridges are a thing in almost any country - but the scale of Germany's bridge problems is mind-boggling.

2) design standards
I find it very curious why Germany still builds 40 km/h ramps on high-speed and high-volume motorways nowadays. In many countries the design standards were updated in the 1960s and 1970s to reflect the higher volume of traffic and more intense usage of the roads - including truck traffic. It boggles my mind that so many major Autobahn-to-Autobahn interchanges are essentially still cloverleafs, although they almost always do have collector lanes. But there are still features such as shoulderless ramps, short merging lanes and tight turns right before entering a high-speed Autobahn that have been absent from Dutch design standards for half a century now. Germany still builds them on new infrastructure! Why?

3) planning process
As mentioned earlier, there is a severe lack of planning capacity, and the planning quality may not be up to standards. If you follow this thread, you'll notice that it is common for German projects to have a large number of separate plan approval procedures (Planungsabschnitte) for basically the same solution on a single corridor. For example A3 from Aschaffenburg to Würzburg has the same solution across the corridor: six laning. But they require numerous separate plan approvals, all of which can be challenged in court. Are they afraid that a plan approval may get shot down on a single item or location, annulling the process for the entire corridor?

For example in France, they built A65 from Pau to Langon. It is a 150 kilometer autoroute through sparsely populated and forested terrain. In fact, it seems rather similar to A14 from Magdeburg to Schwerin. The French A65 was built in one stage, opening all 150 kilometers at the same time. While that may not be possible in Germany due to the lack of funding, the French managed to get the plan approval for the entire corridor completed so all of it can be built simultaneously. In case of German A14, there are many separate plan approvals.
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Old June 21st, 2017, 09:19 PM   #9311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
For example in France, they built A65 from Pau to Langon. It is a 150 kilometer autoroute through sparsely populated and forested terrain. In fact, it seems rather similar to A14 from Magdeburg to Schwerin. The French A65 was built in one stage, opening all 150 kilometers at the same time. While that may not be possible in Germany due to the lack of funding, the French managed to get the plan approval for the entire corridor completed so all of it can be built simultaneously. In case of German A14, there are many separate plan approvals.
Could be that France is a very centralized country while Germany is not.

Your comment on the antiquated road standards in Germany is sadly true. The words "stack" and "flyover" must be taboo here for some reason
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Old June 21st, 2017, 09:40 PM   #9312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I find it very curious why Germany still builds 40 km/h ramps on high-speed and high-volume motorways nowadays. In many countries the design standards were updated in the 1960s and 1970s to reflect the higher volume of traffic and more intense usage of the roads - including truck traffic. It boggles my mind that so many major Autobahn-to-Autobahn interchanges are essentially still cloverleafs, although they almost always do have collector lanes. But there are still features such as shoulderless ramps, short merging lanes and tight turns right before entering a high-speed Autobahn that have been absent from Dutch design standards for half a century now. Germany still builds them on new infrastructure! Why?
I am baffled by the German love for cloverleafs. By the time you include C/D lane structures and land costs they can be barely cheaper than more advanced designs. I think it's mostly just 'this is how it's always been done'. You see something similar in the UK for roundabout-based interchanges, which will be used in almost any circumstance, even where a freeflow interchange would be more appropriate.
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 02:40 AM   #9313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
1) quality
As people are well aware, the condition of German infrastructure, being it bridges, roads, railroads, canals or sluices, is quite poor. Things being 'marode' is reported on in the German media on a daily basis. In areas like Nordrhein-Westfalen, some motorways such as A1 and A45 are almost completely written off, virtually all bridges - including interchanges, overpasses and small underpasses - need to be demolished. In many cases, they need to be demolished much earlier than they were originally designed for. They blame the heavy truck traffic - which is likely true to some extent - but the scale on which infrastructure needs to be demolished is mind-boggling compared to other countries with bridges of similar age. Bad bridges are a thing in almost any country - but the scale of Germany's bridge problems is mind-boggling.
When you call the state of German bridge already poor, then I wonder what kind of vocabulary you have left to describe the state of American road bridge which have unlike here actually have already collapsed due to deterioration.

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2) design standards
I find it very curious why Germany still builds 40 km/h ramps on high-speed and high-volume motorways nowadays. In many countries the design standards were updated in the 1960s and 1970s to reflect the higher volume of traffic and more intense usage of the roads - including truck traffic. It boggles my mind that so many major Autobahn-to-Autobahn interchanges are essentially still cloverleafs, although they almost always do have collector lanes. But there are still features such as shoulderless ramps, short merging lanes and tight turns right before entering a high-speed Autobahn that have been absent from Dutch design standards for half a century now. Germany still builds them on new infrastructure! Why?
Instead of cloverleafs the Dutch connected motorways by plain roundabouts. How advanced is that? Except that the Dutch actually do build cloverleafs. Knooppunt Zaanderheiken is one the newest motorway junctions. And it was designed and built in the shape of a cloverleaf. Who would have thought?
And the newest 4-way-motorway junction in the Netherlands is Knooppunt Raasdorp. This one too is cloverleaf, enhanced by a semi-direkt link road. And why is that? Because Dutch junction design is basically the same as its German counterpart. The real difference is that the Netherlands barely build new motorways and therefore no new motorway junctions.

As a matter of fact, cloverleafs are cost-effective, safe and motorists are used to them. Furthermore are traffic volumes at newly built junction low. And if the volumes of turning traffic rises cloverleafs can be advanced by adding a semi-direct link road which fits in rather smoothly.
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 09:08 AM   #9314
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1) Quality
As I am a railway-engineer I do know how hard it is, making a statement, how long a bridge will be in service. The state of bridges is worse, but meanwhile I am not sure if they have to be demolished really in each case they state. The truth might be something in between. But still Italy, Belgium and Germany do have the most problems as the network in those ountries was largely expanded in the 1960/70s.

2) Design Standards
Basically I see no problem in building cloverleafs at minor-interchanges, it is in order to avoid more bridges. You will have examples for building new junctions with 40 km/h. I am living in East-Germany and do not remind an autobahn-interchange which wasnt completely redesigned to modern standards as they widened the autobahn up to six-lanes. For example, the whole Berlin-circle interchanges have been/will be redesigned to modern standards.

I do not want a pingpong about who has the better motorways, but the dutch motorway-system seems to be in main parts a big patchwork of planning-compromises and project-changings. The A 58 e. g. is a compromise of what should have been a much better designed separate new motorway, instead of being an upgraded national road. This must be said, as you always compare german autobahn-mistakes to things, which seem to work better in the Netherlands. It is obvious, that you have an eye on what is going wrong with the motorways of your belgian and german neighbours.

3) planning process
It is all true, what you are saying and I also think it is something to blame the federal system for. Creating state-agency for motorway-construction, like the Asfinag in Austria, is the first necessary step to change something.

Last edited by tunnel owl; June 22nd, 2017 at 09:57 AM.
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 10:21 AM   #9315
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Instead of cloverleafs the Dutch connected motorways by plain roundabouts. How advanced is that?
It's not very advanced at all, I agree, but roundabouts are not the norm for motorway interchanges in the Netherlands. There is only one complete roundabout interchange which is currently being replaced and two others with flyovers for through traffic.

Quote:
Except that the Dutch actually do build cloverleafs. Knooppunt Zaanderheiken is one the newest motorway junctions. And it was designed and built in the shape of a cloverleaf. Who would have thought?
And the newest 4-way-motorway junction in the Netherlands is Knooppunt Raasdorp. This one too is cloverleaf, enhanced by a semi-direkt link road. And why is that?
Knooppunt Zaarderheiken was completed in 1970, so it's by far not 'one of the newest interchanges'. Though I must add that Zaarderheiken is considerably more spacious than for example Kreuz Dortmund/Unna, Kreuz Walldorf or Kreuz München-Ost.

Besides, cloverleafs are not inherently bad, but they are not suitable for large traffic volumes and turning movements. Cloverleafs are fine for less important interchanges, but at busy interchanges they should build more direct connectors to enhance traffic flow. There are many tight cloverleafs for major Autobahn interchanges in Germany which should have more direct connectors or a complete reconstruction.

Quote:
Because Dutch junction design is basically the same as its German counterpart.
Dutch cloverleafs have higher design speeds than most of Germany's cloverleafs. You can usually drive 60 km/h on the loop ramps and 100 km/h on the outer slip ramps. Which makes quite a difference for traffic flow, especially for trucks.

Other types of interchanges (exits) such as partial cloverleafs, have more generous design standards in the Netherlands than in Germany. In Germany there are often tight turns before entering the motorway, tight exits and no shoulders on ramps. Also, merging lanes tend to be longer (400 meters is the standard for motorways in the Netherlands, of course there are the oddball outliers). The gore is also often much longer, which gives traffic more time to look to merge while gaining the appropriate speed.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 02:23 PM   #9316
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E233 Meppen - Cloppenburg

An overview of the E233 four laning project.

The federal ministry has issued the 'Gesehenvermerk' for 4 PA's (Planungsabschnitte) now. Apparently this is some type of administrative approval so the state of Niedersachsen can start the plan approval procedure.

The 'Gesehenvermerk' has been issued for PA 3, 4, 6 & 8 on this map:
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 02:41 PM   #9317
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The Germans decided to close the A7 southbound by Schleswig this weekend from 17.00 this Friday to Sunday 21.00, this weekend is the weekend when the Danes begin their holiday, so huge traffic jams are expected. They did the same last weekend and an over 20 kilometer long queue formed, resulting in 3 hours extra driving time. The closure is caused by road works.

The German authorities recommend you exiting the motorway as early as Flensburg, and then head for the A23 by Heide to meet the A7 just north of the Elb tunnel. If your destination is before Hamburg, they recommend using the exit "Tarp", and then meet the A7 again at "Schleswig/Jagel". The huge detour on A23 is recommended because they, like last week, expect hugely overloaded parallel roads.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 07:32 PM   #9318
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
An overview of the E233 four laning project.
The federal ministry has issued the 'Gesehenvermerk' for 4 PA's (Planungsabschnitte) now. Apparently this is some type of administrative approval so the state of Niedersachsen can start the plan approval procedure.
The 'Vorentwurfsplanung' (preliminary planning procudure) was completed in July 2013. That means, it took only 4 years till the authorities have approved the documents. There are sometimes additional requirements 'Auflagen' (e.g. another study for nature protection et cetera) to be considered in the documents. Afterwards, the documents must be prepared to be published at the beginning of the plan approval procedure which usually takes some months (the preparation, not the plan approval procedure ).
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Old June 24th, 2017, 03:59 AM   #9319
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Quote:
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Dutch cloverleafs have higher design speeds than most of Germany's cloverleafs. You can usually drive 60 km/h on the loop ramps and 100 km/h on the outer slip ramps. Which makes quite a difference for traffic flow, especially for trucks.
Wow from a Nordamerican perspective that sounds tremendously fast... I mean... I make those kinds of speeds, but my tires are usually chirping too
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Old June 27th, 2017, 07:40 PM   #9320
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Construction permit for A1 widening between Neuenkirchen-Vörden and Bramsche has just been granted. Works for this stretch could commence this year already. Completion is estimated by 2021.

The only missing widening of A1 between Osnabrück and Ahlhorner Dreieck would be between Neuenkirchen-Vörden and Lohne/Dinklage, which had already received construction permit last year.

Source (German): https://www.noz.de/lokales/bramsche/...ery&0&0&915600
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