Motorway 16 (Switzerland)
|Autobahn 16 in Switzerland|
|Operator:||Federal Roads Office|
|Start of the street:||
|End of the road:||
Biel / Bienne
|Overall length:||approx. 84 km|
The Swiss Autobahn 16 and Autostrasse 16 is an 84 km long traffic axis that crosses the Jura in the area of the cantons of Bern ( Bernese Jura ) and Jura and is therefore also called Transjurane . It is part of the national road 16 and, since its completion in spring 2017, has not only connected the canton of Jura to the Swiss plateau, but also connects the Swiss motorway and road network to the French. The expansion standard provides for both four-lane ( motorway ) and two-lane sections ( autostrasse ), which will be built without intersections, but will also accommodate all traffic (including non-motorized traffic ) over a short section . After 30 years of construction and costs of 6.5 billion Swiss francs, the last section was opened to traffic on April 3, 2017.
The A16 starts in the plane of the Swiss central plateau in Bözingerfeld east of the city of Biel / Bienne . It branches off from the A5 with a large roundabout and leads up one ramp in each direction to the Taubenloch Gorge. After several with consecutive straight lines, respectively. Odd-numbered tunnel leads you into the valley of the Schüss and pierces the Pierre Pertuis pass between Sonceboz and Tavannes, which was already used in Roman times . Along the Birs it leads between Court via Moutier to Courrendlin in tunnels next to several gorges. In the depression of the Delsberg basin , it leads past Delémont to Glovelier , and then crosses twice under the European main watershed at Saint-Ursanne in two tunnels . Over the Tafeljura plateau of the Ajoie , it then turns towards the Burgundy Gate , where it reaches the French border at Boncourt and is connected to the French motorway network via an expressway. In its course, it turns several times both to the west and to the east.
Opening in stages
The motorway was opened to traffic in several stages:
- Biel / Bienne (Bözingenfeld) - Loveresse : Valid from the entrance to Biel-Nord (Taubenlochschlucht) to La Heutte as a third-class national road, because the section can also be used by bicycles and tractors. There are almost continuously two lanes in every direction (except for certain entrances / exits). The directional lanes run separately in the area, one on the western and the other on the eastern slope of the valley, the latter largely using the route of the former main road.
- Section La Heutte - Tavannes with motorway standard, opened in 1997.
- Two lanes from Tavannes ; the route to Loveresse was opened on November 29, 2012.
- Loveresse - Court: This 9.4 km long section in motorway standard was completed as the last section and opened on April 3, 2017.
- Court to Courrendlin (Delémont-Est):
- Tunnel under the Graitery opened on November 5, 2013
- Moutier bypass (with motorway standard) in November 2011
- Tunnel under Mont Raimeux and over the canton border BE / JU in 2007
- Choindez Tunnel (opening originally planned for 2012) in December 2016.
- Courrendlin (Delémont Est) - Boncourt: Narrow motorway with emergency bays but no hard shoulder, the tunnels of Mont Terri and Mont Russelin as well as Bure JU have one lane in each direction.
- The route opened in 1998
- Delémont and Porrentruy bypasses (each with motorway standard) only in 2005
- The last section between Porrentruy-Ouest and Boncourt went into operation on August 21, 2014.
- The connection of the A16 in France to the A36 (Mulhouse - Dijon) motorway between Montbéliard and Belfort was completed in 2010.
In its course, the A16 has numerous engineering structures, mainly tunnels but also some bridges . That is why the A16 is one of the most expensive road transport projects in Switzerland. The total costs came to 6.5 billion Swiss francs - 77.38 million per kilometer. Originally (1980) 1.5 billion Swiss francs were planned.
Because of the difficult terrain in the area of the Jura, it is necessary to build numerous tunnels that cross under the various Jura ranges. The main tunnels (from south to north) longer than 1 km are:
- Tunnel de Pierre Pertuis (2208 m, crossing under the Birs - Schüss watershed )
- Sous le Mont tunnel (1210 m, Tavannes bypass)
- Tunnel du Graitery (2420 m, bypassing the gorge of Court)
- Tunnel de Moutier (1191 m, Moutier bypass)
- Tunnel du Raimeux (3211 m, bypassing the Moutier gorge)
- Tunnel de Choindez (3200 m, bypassing the Choindez gorge)
- Tunnel du Mont Russelin (3550 m, crossing under the main European watershed Rhine-Rhone)
- Tunnel du Mont Terri (4068 m, crossing under the European main watershed Rhone-Rhine)
- Tunnel de la Perche (1027 m, Porrentruy bypass)
- Tunnel du Banné (1086 m, Porrentruy bypass)
- Tunnel de Bure (3059 m)
There are also a further 16 tunnels that are less than 1 km long and some of them were built using opencast mines. Some tunnels are or have been built to protect the residents of nearby villages or districts from the noise emissions. In addition, the cantonal road near Choindez was moved into a short tunnel on the other side of the Birs.
The A16 was not part of Switzerland's national road network from the start, although the first projects to quickly cross the Jura between Biel and Belfort existed as early as 1964. The A16 was included in the plan of the national road network in 1984 after the population of the canton of Jura had approved the construction with a large majority (71%). The motorway should give the structurally weak region of the Jura and the Ajoie new impetus. Once completed, the high-performance traffic axis should guarantee a much faster connection to the rest of Switzerland.
Even after it was added to the national road network, there was strong opposition to the project from environmentalists. As part of the clover leaf initiative , the construction of the A16 should be submitted to the entire Swiss population for a vote. However, due to the high level of acceptance of the project in the affected regions, the request was withdrawn before the vote on the other controversial national road sections (in April 1990).
- Sabine Gorgé, SRF: The long way to the Transjurane. April 3, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017 .
- Transjurane: The most political motorway in Switzerland In: Berner Zeitung of April 3, 2017.