Federal motorway 61
|Bundesautobahn 61 in Germany|
|Operator:||Federal Republic of Germany|
|Start of the street:||
|End of street:||
Hockenheim motorway triangle
|Overall length:||319.7 km|
|of which in operation:||313.2 km|
|of which in planning:||6.5 km|
|Development condition:||2 × 2 and 2 × 3 lanes|
|The A61 near Grafschaft
(aerial photo from 2016)
The federal motorway 61 (abbreviation: BAB 61 ) - short form: Autobahn 61 (abbreviation: A 61 ) - is a German federal motorway that leads from the Dutch border near Venlo to the Hockenheim motorway triangle . Except for the last ten kilometers at Hockenheim, the A 61 runs on the left bank of the Rhine and is therefore also known as the motorway on the left bank of the Rhine .
It represents the westernmost German motorway connection from the Netherlands and Belgium to the southern German motorway network. The Cologne Ring , which is very busy, is avoided and the motorway is therefore heavily frequented by Dutch and Belgian trucks and tourists.
With a length of 320 km, the A 61 was the longest motorway with a two-digit number in Germany until the A 20 was built.
The A 61 began in April 2012 at the Heidenend border crossing on the border with the Netherlands as a continuation of the Dutch A 74 ; the original motorway began at the old Schwanenhaus border crossing further east and was on an urban road (Keulse Barrière). In this area, the motorway serves as the main traffic axis for the spacious city of Nettetal , which is connected with a total of five interchanges. The district town of Viersen and the city of Mönchengladbach are east of the motorway and are also being developed. There is a speed limit of 120 km / h between the Mönchengladbach motorway junction and the Mönchengladbach-Wanlo motorway junction .
The section located south of Mönchengladbach between the Mönchengladbach-Wanlo and Jackerath motorway junctions runs right through the future mining area of the Garzweiler opencast mine, which is expanding to the west . While the towns in the open-cast mining area directly on the motorway have already been demolished, the A 44, which was also demolished in 2005 because of the open-cast mining, was rebuilt for the section between the newly built, now further south-east Jackerath motorway junction and the Holz motorway junction with six lanes and a different route, so that it can start traffic on the A 61 after it is closed. This replacement route was opened in the direction of Venlo on July 1, 2018 and in the direction of Koblenz on September 1, 2018. The previous A 61 section was then closed.
The Cologne area is reached south of the flat strip of land on the left Lower Rhine , which is characterized by lignite mining , but is bypassed very widely. The Kölner Ring can be reached via the A 4 ( Aachen - Olpe ) crossing at Kerpen and from the south via the A 1 ( Blankenheim - Heiligenhafen ). The latter runs on a short, six-lane section on the same route as the A 61, before it branches off to the southwest at the Bliesheim intersection into the Eifel . However, this section is only partially finished, which is why the A 61 also provides the Cologne – Saarbrücken connection (via A 48 ) from here .
The flat bordering landscape, which makes up large parts of the Rhineland , will be abandoned after the A 565 , which as a city motorway connects to the former federal capital Bonn , ends near Meckenheim . At the same time, the federal state changes - from here the motorway runs through Rhineland-Palatinate . Here in the Eastern Eifel the motorway initially has numerous long valley bridges and then some striking uphill and downhill stretches. The first motorway exit in Rhineland-Palatinate in the course of the A61 is then the Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler motorway triangle , which offers a connection to the 573 federal motorway towards Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler .
Shortly before Koblenz is reached, the A 48 crosses an important connection to Saarland and Luxembourg , which also takes over the task of the still unfinished A 1 Eifel motorway . Shortly after the cross, the Moselle and its narrow, wine-growing valley is crossed on a 136 m high bridge, which for a time was the highest motorway bridge in the world. To the north of the Moselle valley bridge there are serviced rest areas on both sides, from which a viewing platform can be reached via a footpath under the bridge.
South of the Moselle lies the Hunsrück , a low mountain range that joins the Eifel. The route is therefore also characterized here by inclines and declines. Just east that runs Upper Middle Rhine Valley , which the UNESCO - World Heritage belongs. At the exit of the Middle Rhine Valley near Bingen , the A 61 also leaves the Hunsrück and has two large viaducts and a distinctive gradient. The next few kilometers run in the landscape of the Rheinhessen hill country . The A 60 and A 63 connect the Rhine-Main area .
South of Worms , the motorway reaches the Rhine-Neckar region , the westernmost main traffic axis of which it forms here. The heights of the Palatinate Forest rise some distance to the west . After bypassing Ludwigshafen , it crosses the Rhine at Speyer on a cable-stayed bridge and reaches the state of Baden-Württemberg , where it joins the A 6 after about 10 kilometers on the right bank of the Rhine at the Hockenheim triangle , which is in the immediate vicinity of the famous race track .
Most of the motorway route was planned in the 1950s, but as a section of a federal road called the B 400 from Moers to Hockenheim. The first plans for the 32.1 km long route between Erftstadt and Gelsdorf date from 1956, but still as a two-lane Erfttalstrasse. In 1960, the plans were changed with a view to traffic development to a four-lane road with two lanes.
From 1967 the planning of this route ran under the motorway number A 14, which should now lead from Goch on the Dutch border to the French border at Lauterbourg . The section north of Erftstadt is now part of the A1 , from the Köln-Nord junction to the A57 . The original route name can still be read from the kilometers south of the Bliesheim junction , which is taken from the A 57 and A 1 from the direction of Goch. The execution of the Erfttal triangle with the continuous Koblenz – Cologne route is evidence of this.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, meanwhile, was started in the 1950s with plans that along the Middle Rhine Valley leading B 9 to relieve since it was not possible due to the close topographical conditions and the dense development in the valley an expansion. These plans for the relief road were largely based on the course of the route, which was carried out later, with gradients of a maximum of 4%.
From 1959, as part of a traffic analysis of a federal trunk road on the left bank of the Rhine to relieve the B 9 , it was decided to lead the relief road beyond Koblenz to Bonn in order to also relieve the B 9 in this section. A southern extension of the route from Bingen to the French border near Lauterbourg was then included in the planning.
Construction of the route as the A 14 motorway began in the 1960s. In 1968 the first section between Stromberg and Bingen was completed. The transition from the Hunsrück down to the Nahe valley is characteristic of this . The alignment was influenced by the contact with a nearby water protection area in the Trollbach valley crossed by the motorway ; the longitudinal slope is up to 3.8%. The Nahe is crossed on a 523 m long bridge.
In 1970 the approximately 10 km long extension of the motorway from Stromberg to the Rheinböllen junction was completed. Two large viaducts had to be built here to cross two valleys. The 665 m long Pfädchensgrabental bridge and the 365 m long Tiefenbachtal bridge are 42 and 92 m high, respectively. In the same year, the 14 km long section from Kreuz Frankenthal with the A 6 to Kreuz Mutterstadt was released. The Erfttalstrasse was also converted into a four-lane trunk road and the 12 km long Weilerswist - Miel section completed.
The extension from Mutterstadt to Speyer was opened to traffic in 1972. In the same year, the first section in Baden-Württemberg from the Hockenheim triangle to the Hockenheim junction was completed. To complete the section from Frankenthal to Hockenheim, a Rhine crossing was still missing, the Speyer Rhine Bridge was designed as a cable-stayed bridge and completed in 1974.
Two further sections were completed in the same year near Koblenz : from the Koblenz junction with the A 48 to the Koblenz / Waldesch junction (15.6 km) and from the Emmelshausen junction to the Laudert junction (9.9 km). The gap between the two sections was cleared in 1973. This section of the route shows a topographically complex route. The 135 m high Moselle valley bridge Winningen was built between Dieblich and Winningen to cross the Moselle . At the time of completion, it was the tallest motorway bridge in the world. Even today it is - after the Kochertalbrücke on the A 6 and that of the Hochmoselbrücke - the third highest road bridge in Germany.
To the south of the bridge, the motorway follows a tight combination of curves in connection with a steep incline in order to cross the Hunsrück . As far as Rheinböllen, it runs roughly along the watershed between the Rhine and Moselle. In order to compensate for the great difference in height to the side valleys of the Rhine, dams were partly built. The highest point of the route is at south of AS Pfalzfeld .
The further construction of the A 61 from the north in the direction of Koblenz was expanded in 1973 to include the section from Miel to Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler . Here the motorway runs along the route of an unfinished strategic railway line . Between the Meckenheim and Bad Neuenahr motorway junction , the A 61 was designed as a makeshift motorway airport , so that in times of crisis it could act as a runway for aircraft that were supposed to bring high-ranking members of the government to the government bunker in the Ahr valley. A short section between Viersen and Süchteln , 3 km in length, and a section from AS Mönchengladbach -West to Borschemich were released in the same year.
With the introduction of the new autobahn numbering in 1974, the now partly completed and partly in planning or construction section of the autobahn was given the name Bundesautobahn 61 . At the Erfttal triangle north of Erftstadt, it should now be continued in the direction of Venlo instead of continuing the numbering along the continuous route in the direction of Cologne. The latter section is now part of the A 1 , which runs on the same route as the A 61 to the Bliesheim junction.
In 1974 the sections from AS Viersen to AS Mönchengladbach -West (gap closure, 6.0 km) and AS Mendig to Kreuz Koblenz (19.5 km) were completed. The latter route leads through the East Eifel into the Neuwied Basin with a longitudinal incline of up to 3.36%. The 26.3 km long gap between Bad Neuenahr and Mendig was closed in 1975. This section of the route leads over numerous long valley bridges, some of which are over 1000 m long. The Ahr Valley Bridge is up to 55 m high and, with a length of 1526 m, is the longest bridge on the motorway.
The 56.9 km long gap between Bingen and the Frankenthal junction was also closed in 1975, so that the motorway was now continuously passable from Kerpen to the end of the motorway at the Hockenheim triangle. The completed route leads mostly through the Rheinhessen hill country with only slight inclines and declines, as it has been more adapted to the hilly landscape and runs in the Wiesbach lowland . Behind Alzey, the motorway runs over some valley bridges, past Worms and in a southerly direction to Kreuz Frankenthal.
Due to the open-cast lignite mining in the region between Mönchengladbach, Cologne and Aachen , the line from Borschemich to Kerpen was not completed until the 1980s. It began in 1981 with the section from Borschemich to the Jackerath motorway junction (5.9 km). In 1983 it was extended to the south by 14.8 km to AS Bergheim (then Bergheim / Elsdorf ), in 1986 by 3.6 km to AS Bergheim-Süd and in 1987 finally to Türnich with the Kerpen junction ( A4 ). This year, the A 61 from the Dutch border at Schwanenhaus to the Hockenheim triangle was completely completed.
Since April 4, 2012, the motorway has been re-routed from the Kaldenkirchen exit and directly connected to the Dutch motorway network ( Rijksweg 74 ). The route leads from Kaldenkirchen south of the previous route across the border into the Netherlands . Construction work began in December 2009. Total costs of around 60 million euros, including land acquisition, were estimated for the 3 km long network connection. The Kingdom of the Netherlands took over five million euros of this in accordance with the State Treaty. There is also an exit to the emerging Venete business park.
The A 61 is currently mostly four-lane. The section between the Erfttal motorway triangle near Erftstadt and the Bliesheimer Kreuz (on this the route is identical to that of the A 1 and is therefore characterized by high traffic) has six lanes. The same applied to the now closed section between the Mönchengladbach-Wanlo motorway junction and the old Jackerath motorway junction . In the federal traffic route plan , the complete six-lane expansion of the A 61 from the Mönchengladbach junction to the Rhine bridge near Speyer is planned, for the most part in the category of additional requirements with planning rights . Only the section between Kreuz Bliesheim and Mendig is classified in the highest category of urgent needs - removal of bottlenecks . The sections between Rheinböllen and the Hunsrück rest area as well as between Kreuz Frankenthal and the Rhine bridge are included as ongoing and permanently scheduled projects. Some inclines in the Eifel and Hunsrück have three lanes on one side, and the hard shoulder is partially released as a lane.
Dreieck Mönchengladbach-Wanlo - Kreuz Jackerath
The section between the then Wanlo junction and the Jackerath junction was expanded to six lanes by September 2005 to accommodate traffic on the A 44 , which was interrupted from 2006 to 2018 due to the Garzweiler II opencast mine . The RWE subsidiary Rheinbraun financed the expansion . In July 2018, the dismantling of the A 61 began between the Wanlo and Jackerath junctions, as the opencast mine is advancing in a north-westerly direction. Previously, the A 44 was restored on a new route, which will then take up traffic on the A 61. In addition, the A 46 between the crosses Wanlo and Jüchen-Holz was expanded to six strips. Since July 1, 2018, the section between the Jackerath and Mönchengladbach-Wanlo junctions in the north direction has been closed, the road to the south was closed on September 3, 2018. The Wanlo junction was renamed the Wanlo motorway triangle (even if it is a purely technical one The motorway junction remains, as the A 61 continues southwards to the Mönchengladbach-Wanlo junction one kilometer away).
Construction site pilot project
During road repair work near Gau-Bickelheim, a pilot project was tested in roadworks in 2009 in order to keep traffic flowing. The reduced construction site speed limit of 60 km / h was increased to the usual construction site speed limit of 80 km / h, but at the same time an overtaking ban was introduced and a new construction site sign with the label staggered! set up. According to the responsible traffic authorities, the attempt was a success, the number of traffic jams and accidents decreased significantly.
New junction Mutterstadt-West
On July 2, 2014, the Mutterstadt -West junction was opened to traffic. The new junction is intended to relieve the local areas of Dannstadt-Schauernheim and Mutterstadt from the heavy traffic that drives to the Pfalzmarkt on the edge of the motorway. The section from Kreuz Frankenthal to the state border of Rhineland-Palatinate / Baden-Württemberg is to be expanded to include six lanes. There has been building permission for the section from Kreuz Frankenthal to Kreuz Mutterstadt since March 13, 2015 and for the remaining section since March 2018. The expansion is to begin as soon as the federal government has secured funding.
Six-lane expansion Rheinböllen - Stromberg
On October 3, 2015, the preparatory work in the course of the six-lane expansion began in the Rheinböllen - T + R Hunsrück section. The A 61 was completely closed for two days for the first time on April 16 and 17, 2016 between the Rheinböllen and Stromberg junctions . In this section of the motorway, two bridges had to be demolished to reclaim the area. The main work has been going on since then. In this section, the Pfädchensgrabentalbrücke and the Tiefenbachtalbrücke, two large valley bridges, have to be completely rebuilt with ongoing traffic. The construction time is expected to take eight years. The first, symbolic groundbreaking ceremony on the occasion of the renewal of the Großtalbrücken took place on March 30, 2017.
Bridge demolition on the BAB 61 on April 16, 2016 on the occasion of the six-lane expansion of the motorway
- Klaus Schefold, Alois Neher (Ed.): 50 years of motorways in Baden-Württemberg. A documentation. On behalf of the Autobahn Office Baden-Württemberg. Baden-Württemberg motorway office, Stuttgart 1986.
- Detailed route description of the federal highway 61
- Alzey valley bridge (near the industrial area) with picture
- Alzey-Dautenheim viaduct
- Almost all bridges on the A 61
- A44, A61: A motorway gives way to Garzweiler II. In: Straßen.NRW.de. Retrieved February 3, 2018 .
- History of the A61. On: autobahn-online.de.
- Compilation of the 1968 traffic releases on autobahn-online.de.
- Compilation of the traffic clearances 1970 on autobahn-online.de.
- Compilation of the 1972 traffic releases on autobahn-online.de.
- Compilation of the 1973 traffic releases on autobahn-online.de.
- Michael Ritz: ADAC travel map Germany and adjacent areas 1: 750,000 (1972) - Landkartenarchiv.de. Retrieved July 8, 2018 .
- Compilation of the 1974 traffic releases on autobahn-online.de.
- Compilation of the 1975 traffic releases on autobahn-online.de.
- Compilation of the traffic clearances 1981 on autobahn-online.de.
- Compilation of the 1983 traffic releases on autobahn-online.de.
- Compilation of the traffic clearances 1986 on autobahn-online.de.
- Compilation of the traffic clearances 1987 on autobahn-online.de.
- Unofficial page with pictures of the realignment of the A 61.
- Press release from Landesbetrieb Strassen.NRW. ( Memento from April 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
- A 61 - A 74 linking the German with the Dutch motorway network in the Venlo area officially opened to traffic. ( Memento of July 26, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development , press release, April 4, 2012.
- Rhein Main Presse : Pilot project with construction site sign "Staggered driving" on A 61 near Gau-Bickelheim successful. May 6, 2009.
- The Pfalzmarkt connection istraffic. (PDF) Official Journal of Mutterstadt, July 2, 2014.
- A 61, between AK Frankenthal and the state border. Retrieved July 15, 2018 .
- A 61 - Building rights for the expansion between Frankenthal and Mutterstadt. In: lbm.rlp.de. Landesbetrieb Mobility Rhineland-Palatinate, archived from the original on January 10, 2017 ; accessed on January 10, 2017 .
- Rhein-Main Presse: Bridges over the closed A61 demolished. 17th April 2016.
- Volker Boch: Eight years of construction: A 61 renovation is a gigantic construction project. In: Rhein-Zeitung. April 15, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2017 .