Status: 21/09/2023, 17:47 p.m.
By: Josef Hornsteiner
Traffic jams, traffic jams and more traffic jams: The construction site in Kaltenbrunn demands a lot from road users. © Kornatz
The construction of a crossing aid over the main road through Kaltenbrunn currently entails waiting times of up to two hours. Not only commuters, restaurateurs and tourism professionals are wondering why the construction work has to be done now, of all times, when the train line is still closed and the district is littered with construction sites.
Kaltenbrunn – Bernhard Neuner is stunned. His phone is running hot, one table cancellation after another is reported to him. "There are no more guests coming from Garmisch-Partenkirchen at all." The reason why the tables in his Wallgau Hotel Post have been increasingly empty for days: a construction site in Kaltenbrunn, about twelve kilometers away. A distance that takes less than ten minutes by car – normally. However, drivers currently need up to 120 minutes. This is chaos, as the train line between Mittenwald and Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also closed at the same time.
Since mid-September, the Weilheim State Road Construction Authority has been building a crossing aid over the federal highway 2 through Kaltenbrunn. This is intended to make it easier and safer for citizens to overcome the busy road at the western entrance to the town. The work is expected to take four weeks. A half-sided closure including traffic light switching is necessary.
Restaurateurs are hailing reservation cancellations
Many restaurateurs are currently in the same situation as nines. There is a hail of reservation cancellations because guests stand in traffic jams for too long and turn around. "You can't take the train," says Neuner. "And if you take the rail replacement service, you'll also be stuck in traffic jams." What is happening right now is "a coup d'état". Neuner cannot explain how such a restriction could have been planned in parallel with the train closure, which will last until mid-December due to construction work. "Especially now in the high tourist season." The school buses are also often stuck in traffic jams. In the facilities of the district, however, they have so far been lucky, as the Zugspitz secondary school and the St. Irmengard schools report on Tagblatt demand. There were only a few latecomers.
This year, a protest action by a resident in Kaltenbrunn caused a stir. In the middle of the Whitsun tourist traffic, the 45-year-old sat down on the main road and drank beer. The police did not only investigate dangerous interference with road traffic. The drunk also gave the stinky finger to many motorists.
Commuters also need nerves. "I've never experienced anything like it." Alex Poller is. Every day, the man from Mittenwald drives to his workplace in Garmisch-Partenkirchen by car. On Tuesday morning after 7 a.m., it took him a total of one hour and 30 minutes – he stood at the construction site for over an hour. When driving back in the evening, he was even stuck at the height of the hospital for an hour and 19 minutes. "It just doesn't work." That's why he had to take a week's vacation without further ado. Poller vented his anger on social networks. The comments under his post show that he is far from the only one struggling with the construction site these days. "I waited two hours for it to finally move forward," writes one user.
State building authority regrets the inconvenience, but there is no alternative
The State Building Authority regrets the inconvenience. But there is no alternative. "We can't wait until November to complete the work because it depends on the weather," explains Andreas Lang from the Road Construction Department. "Due to Kaltenbrunn's location in the mountains, an early onset of winter is to be expected here." And since the traffic light circuit has to be operated over a longer period of time due to individual construction phases, "a settlement as a night construction site does not provide a remedy here either". In addition, this would mean additional noise pollution for residents during the night hours. The building authority is monitoring the traffic in order to make the traffic light circuit more effective, to limit the queue "to the lowest possible level". Nevertheless, backlogs cannot be avoided.
Restaurateur Neuner dreads the weekends. It is true that the construction site can be driven through on both sides, just like at night. However, Internet services such as google.maps pull the data of their users in the event of regular traffic jams or closures in order to determine the fastest route: "On weekends, many will certainly be diverted via Lake Walchensee and thus through Wallgau," he fears.