The longest tunnel in Austria is still facing a total closure in the first half of 2022: From May 2nd, the Arlberg tunnel, which connects the federal states of Tyrol and Vorarlberg, must first be closed for six months and then for another five months in 2023. The reason for this is the urgently needed replacement of the lane, which is slowly but surely approaching its 50s – because the first lane from the opening in 1978 is currently still in use. Because the Arlberg tunnel is single-tube, it has to be completely closed for work – traffic chaos is inevitable.
The upcoming ban is the second in just seven years. The Arlberg tunnel was closed for its technical renovation between 2015 and 2017. According to Stefan Siegele from ASFINAG, the traffic concept during the construction work for the road renewal should be structured in a similar way as it was back then: It is clearly regulated which trucks are allowed to move over the Arlberg Pass and which have to bypass the route over a large area. Cars are of course allowed to drive over the pass, but only without a trailer. For camping trailers – unlike the previous closure – there should be slots at night where they can then drive over the pass.
Not only the Arlberg tunnel is being built this year. Major renovation projects are also pending on the state roads: for example, the motorway connection near Dornbirn is being rebuilt, completion is scheduled for February and will then also be given a new name. The new connection is then called Dornbirn-Süd, the old connection point Dornbirn-Süd is renamed Dornbirn-West.
The almost 40-year-old railway underpass on the L203 between Götzis and Altach will also be renewed between mid-March and the end of November. A couple of smaller construction sites will be added for ASFINAG in 2022, but which ones will only be determined. ASFINAG is investing a total of 63 million euros in the Arlberg tunnel over the two years of the renovation.