Already on Friday night it was jammed on the A45 at the Lüdenscheid-Mitte exit
Photo: Cédric Nougrigat / dpa
The full closure of a dilapidated motorway bridge has triggered traffic chaos in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The Autobahn 45 between Lüdenscheid-Nord and Lüdenscheid cannot be used in either direction after Autobahn GmbH closed the Rahmede viaduct on Thursday evening.
Damage to the bridge had previously been found.
"The damage that we found at one point makes it necessary to close it immediately," says Elfriede Sauerwein-Braksiek, North Rhine-Westphalia director of Autobahn GmbH.
"In order to check whether and how the bridge can continue to be used, we called in experts to examine the structure intensively."
The traffic is now to be routed via the U16 diversion and is also to be diverted extensively via the motorway's traffic management system.
Long queues formed in the morning rush hour on Friday.
According to the WDR traffic jam report, the traffic in the direction of Hagen was already jammed at around 7:30 a.m. for a length of around ten kilometers.
At the same time there was a six-kilometer traffic jam in the direction of Giessen.
The ADAC announced that the time lost was more than half an hour in the direction of Hagen and 20 minutes in the direction of Gießen.
In the course of Friday the Autobahn GmbH wants to inform about how things are going on on the so-called Sauerland line.
"Lifeline for all people in South Westphalia"
»We now need a concept for extensive diversions as quickly as possible.
The Sauerland line is a lifeline for all people in South Westphalia, "said a spokesman for the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Transport.
The region was already heavily burdened with the road network closures after the storm.
Municipalities and chambers would have to be closely involved at a round table on the coordination of further measures.
"The A45 is one of the most important highways in our country with a high proportion of heavy traffic," said the spokesman.
For the more than 450 meter long bridge, which was built in 1968, there have been new construction plans for a long time.
fww / dpa