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Motorways of extremes: In Germany, none is longer than the A7 – another simply stops


Highlights: With a length of 962.2 kilometres, the A7 is by far the longest motorway in Germany. The A3 is the busiest highway in Germany, with more than 166,000 cars a day. The shortest highway is located in Baden-Württemberg and bears the designation A831. These are the major motorways that run across the Federal Republic of Germany and smaller regional roads that are only recognized by the name of the motorway they are on.

The A7 is by far the longest motorway in Germany. But other highways also impress with their extremes.

1 / 10A7 motorway: With a length of 962.2 kilometres, the A7 is by far the longest motorway in Germany and also the second longest trunk road in Europe after Autovía 7 in Spain. The A7 leads from Flensburg-Handewitt to southern Bavaria. Since 2012, the expansion of the expressway to eight lanes has been underway. © Lobeca/Imago2 / 10A3 motorway: With a length of 769 kilometres, the A7 motorway has to admit defeat by a narrow margin. On the other hand, the A3 is the busiest motorway in Germany. According to the 2021 road traffic census, more than 166,000 cars are on the road every day between the Köln-Ost motorway junction and the Cologne-Heumar junction alone. © NurPhoto/Imago3 / 10A1 motorway: With a length of 749 kilometres, the A1 is only slightly shorter than the A3. On the other hand, it is likely to be one of the longest construction sites in Germany. Compared to the A1, the 14-year construction period of BER seems like a wink. The groundbreaking ceremony for the motorway was held in 1934. Almost 80 years later, there is still a 25-kilometre-long gap in the Eifel. It is unclear when this will be closed. © Panthermedia/Imago4 / 10A4 motorway: 583 kilometres in length is enough for fourth place in the ranking of the longest motorways. But the A4 is also characterized by a particularly high risk of fog on the busy section between Aachen and Cologne. On 20 December 1987, the line had to be completely closed for the first time after the appearance of a fog bank with visibility of well below 30 m. In the meantime, a fog warning system has been installed there. © Mangold/Imago5 / 10A555 motorway: With a length of just 18 kilometres, the highway between Cologne and Bonn is one of the shorter routes. But historically, the A555 is of great importance, because it is the first and oldest motorway in Germany. In 1932, the expressway was inaugurated by the then Lord Mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer. To this day, it is also nicknamed the diplomatic racecourse. © Future Iamge/Imago6 / 10Motorway A831: By far the shortest highway is located in Baden-Württemberg and bears the designation A831. It is just 2.3 kilometers long and has five exits. The motorway starts and ends in Stuttgart. © Marijan Murat/dpa7 / 10A5 motorway: At 440 kilometres, the A5 is relatively short. Nevertheless, it is one of the busiest roads in Hesse. In the future, it could also be one of Germany's widest motorways, as an expansion to ten lanes is planned near Frankfurt. However, the project is very controversial. © Schöning/Imago

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8 / 10A49 motorway: Similar to the A1, the A49 in Hesse is still under construction. It is also the least frequented section of motorway. At Ansbrach, the 2021 road traffic census counted just 819 cars per day. © Uwe Zucchi/dpa9 / 10A114 motorway: On this highway, motorists needed strong nerves until October 2022. A whopping 95 percent (15 out of 16 kilometers) of the A114 kilometers were construction sites. In the meantime, the motorway in the north-east of Berlin is completely passable again. Surprisingly, the construction costs turned out to be even lower than initially planned. © Soeren Stache/dpa10 / 10A6 motorway: The A6 is probably one of the most important east-west connections beyond Germany's borders. However, it did not make it into this ranking because of its length of 484 kilometres, but because of the Kocher Viaduct. This is Germany's highest motorway bridge. At an altitude of 185 metres, the A6 runs for 1.1 kilometres through the Kocher Valley. This makes it 27 metres higher than the Moselle Valley Bridge in second place. © Arnulf Hettrich/Imago

The motorway network in Germany is around 13,200 kilometres long. These are divided between the major motorways that run across the Federal Republic of Germany and smaller roads that are only of regional importance. The meaning and location can be recognized by the number in the name. Some motorways also tend to end in nothing, e.g. because there is a dispute about their expansion. But which is the longest and which is the shortest? And on which are the most cars on the road? Which one has the most traces? We answer these and more questions about the highways of extremes in this photo gallery.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-06-01

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