ASFINAG meets the ever increasing individual mobility needs with sustainable, intelligent and economically reasonable solutions. Always in focus: keeping traffic flowing as smoothly as possible even during roadworks, extensions and new constructions. ASFINAG therefore focuses on three key factors: short construction times, the use of innovations and customised information. ASFINAG is already one of the leading infrastructure managers in Europe today. In order to continue living up to this claim in the future, there needs to be a well-developed and modern network of motorways and expressways. In 2017, ASFINAG completed important and large projects and launched new ones.
For top-quality infrastructure: the 2017 investment programme
ASFINAG invested more than EUR 956 million in the construction, expansion and maintenance of motorways and expressways. The goals: maximum efficiency, maximum safety and comprehensive protection for people and the environment and more opportunities for economic development.
A highlight was the A 5 north motorway between Schrick and Poysbrunn in the Lower Austrian Weinviertel region being opened for traffic.
With the start of work on the S 7 Fürstenfelder expressway, the S 36 Murtal expressway between St. Georgen ob Judenburg and Scheifling, and the S 3 Weinviertler expressway from Hollabrunn to Guntersdorf, the construction of the new stretch gained momentum last year.
There was also a focus on tunnel safety with more than 30 major projects in 2017. With the completion of the general refurbishment of the Arlberg tunnel, ASFINAG 2017 has completed one of the most challenging tunnel projects.
New A 5 North motorway: trendsetting for the Weinviertel area
After two and a half years of construction, in December 2017 ASFINAG opened the new 25 kilometres of the A 5 North motorway to traffic. Thus, 60 percent of the through traffic was shifted from the heavily loaded B 7 Brünner road to the new route. The A 5 represents greater road safety and less noise and air pollutants for thousands of residents. The importance of the new A 5 is also demonstrated by co-financing by the European Union.
“Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF) supported its further development from Schrick to Poysbrunn with an amount of around EUR 21 million.
In addition, the A 5 as a whole has great importance for European transnational road traffic. It is part of the Baltic-Adriatic Core Network Corridor
When we build a motorway, we always combine three key requirements: efficient infrastructure, protection of people and the environment, and the best possible integration of the new route into the landscape. With the A5, we have been particularly successful here.
Arlberg tunnel renovation: best practice
At the end of 2017, ASFINAG completed the renovation of the Arlberg tunnel on the S 16 Arlberg expressway. The three-year construction site was in many ways a best practice project. The work was completed earlier than planned and traffic was flowing properly despite two tunnel closures. Numerous innovations were the key to success. In order to shorten the construction time, financial incentives were included in the tender and the work was seasonally coordinated to prevent detours in winter via the Arlberg mountain.
In addition, ASFINAG launched an intensive national and international information campaign to inform road users about detours and barriers. Up-to-date information directly on the route and a dedicated website in three languages were included in the package of measures. This is how ASFINAG ensured that both the regional detours and detours via Germany and Switzerland worked at all times.
The innovative planning and execution of this project are exemplary. We have thus demonstrated that a close and good tie-up with both countries, authorities and chambers of commerce as well as contractors and the media pays off. The two months of total closures of the Arlberg tunnel were a tightrope walk in particular, but could not have gone better.
Further construction of the S 3: more safety and higher quality of life
On 29 May 2017, ASFINAG gave the starting signal for the further construction of the S 3 Weinviertler expressway from Hollabrunn to Guntersdorf. The new eleven kilometres represent more traffic safety and a better quality of life for thousands of people in the western Weinviertel. Thanks to the future optimum connection to the provincial capitals of St. Pölten and Vienna, the many commuters and the business community will also benefit from the construction. The new S 3 will be built in two stages. The project comprises three junctions and 19 bridges. All bridges are built integrally, i.e. in one piece. This saves maintenance costs and increases driving comfort. ASFINAG plans to open the bridges for traffic in 2020.
S 36: two expansion phases for more safety
With the opening of the underpass in St. Georgen, ASFINAG completed the first part of the expansion of the S 36 Murtal expressway back in December 2015. The groundbreaking ceremony for the second section took place on 18 March 2017. The second centrepiece of the new S 36 will be built by autumn 2020 with the Unzmarkt underpass. The 1,000 metre-long section relieves Unzmarkt-Frauenburg of through traffic and ensures greater traffic safety. The special feature here is that, in order to protect people in the vicinity of the construction site, ASFINAG is constructing the underpass entirely without blasting. In the end, there will then be two lanes in each direction on the structurally separate carriageways between St. Georgen ob Judenburg and Unzmarkt / Hirschfeld.
Green light for major construction projects
After a long planning phase and complex approval procedures, 2017 finally gave the green light for three important projects: A 26 Linz motorway, S 7 Fürstenfelder expressway and A 5 North motorway – Drasenhofen bypass.
The first section of the A 26 is the new bridge of the Danube in Linz. The Europe-wide tender for construction services was published by ASFINAG in 2017. In order to make room for the future construction site, work on moving the Danube cycle route was started in the previous year. The fourth Danube bridge of the Upper Austrian provincial capital will relieve the inner-city road network by 20,000 cars a day after its completion in 2023.
There was also positive news for the S 7 in 2017. In future, it will run from the Styrian A 2 South motorway at Riegersdorf to Heiligenkreuz in Burgenland.
In November 2017, ASFINAG published the first major tender. The new 28 kilometre-long stretch is due to be opened for traffic in 2023. The S 7, as a connection between two provinces, represents relief for communities, shorter routes for commuters and stimulation for the regional economy.
The A 5 Drasenhofen bypass section also set the course for further construction work in the previous year. ASFINAG published the construction tender in October for the five kilometre-long route. Archaeological excavations, the laying of pipelines for gas and electricity as well as the work to clear the construction site were the first steps. ASFINAG plans to open the section for traffic in the second half of 2019.
A 1 and A 4: third lane for more capacity
The A 1 West motorway is one of the most important transit routes in Austria. With the construction of the third lane between Matzleinsdorf and Pöchlarn, ASFINAG has closed the last remaining, five kilometre-long bottleneck on the A 1. This involves more safety and performance. After the completion of the expansion work in May 2018, the West motorway has three lanes without interruption over a total of 166 kilometres between the Steinhäusl junction in Lower Austria and the Voralpenkreuz in Upper Austria In the winter of 2017, ASFINAG temporarily opened the third lane in both directions of traffic during the holiday break.
For thousands of people commuting every day, the A 4 East motorway is the only high-speed connection to Vienna.
In addition, the A 4 is of great economic importance as a connection to Hungary and Slovakia. The proportion of trucks is correspondingly high, at around 17 percent. In order to make the A 4 safer and more efficient in the future, ASFINAG is building a third lane between Fischamend and Neusiedl in both directions. Preparations began last year: The Fischamend and Bruck an der Leitha West junctions as well as the area around the Göttlesbrunn service station will be adapted to the future three-lane East motorway. It is anticipated that, in 2023, the A 4 East motorway will available with three lanes for the entire stretch between the Schwechat junction in Lower Austria and the Neusiedl junction in Burgenland.
We want people to reach their destination quickly and, above all, safely. However, because we handle the money of our customers carefully, we look very closely at where motorway upgrades really make sense. With the third lanes on the West and the East motorways, we are able to make these sections fit for the future.
High-performance infrastructure for a modern capital city
With up to 200,000 cars a day, the A 23 Südosttangente in Vienna (southeast bypass) is Austria’s busiest motorway. With comprehensive renovations and state-of-the-art technology, ASFINAG ensures that the Südosttangente is up to the rising demands of the future. In 2017, ASFINAG completed two further major projects: the repair of the Prater Bridge – it is the most frequented motorway bridge in the country – and the general renovation work between Stadlau and Hirschstetten. Work on the construction of the new elevated section at Inzersdorf will continue at full speed until summer 2018. The approximately four kilometre-long section has been under construction since 2014 without being closed to traffic. On the A 22 Danube motorway, ASFINAG is modernising the two kilometre-long Kaisermühlen tunnel. 1,600 high-tech LED lamps, state-of-the-art video and exhaust air systems and the “AKUT” acoustic tunnel early warning system ensure even more safety in the urban tunnel.
Incentives and innovations for shorter construction times
Renovations and extensions must always be carried out quickly, economically and with little hindrance. In order to ensure this, ASFINAG pursues innovative pathways. Financial incentives in tenders create a motivation to shorten the construction time through technical or organisational optimisations. If a construction project ends ahead of schedule, ASFINAG pays a bonus. The fact that ASFINAG is taking the right path with this “motivation in construction” was demonstrated in 2017 by the use of the “Road Zipper”.
This allowed the construction site to be set up flexibly at Stadlau / Hirschstetten, thereby avoiding additional barriers for the moving of concrete barriers. This meant that this construction site could also be completed earlier in the summer of 2017. Another positive result of the bonus-malus system was the five-week shorter construction period on the A 4 East motorway between the Schwechat junction and Vienna Airport.
Through financial incentives, we create a good basis for creative and innovative approaches to how construction sites are managed. Any idea from construction companies to speed up the completion of construction projects is welcomed by us. On the one hand, this promotes good cooperation and, moreover, it brings enormous benefits for car drivers.
A look into the future: “Target network 2030+”
Two topics will increasingly accompany ASFINAG in the future: rising passenger and freight traffic and new trends, such as automated driving and “truck platooning”, in which networked truck convoys drive in close succession. In addition to conventional methods for increasing the route availability, new developments require alternative approaches to planning. One example is the cooperation of different infrastructure providers to make optimum use of different modes of transport (multimodality). As part of the development of the “Target network 2030+”, ASFINAG is developing an integrative target system for this purpose. It takes into account both transport and environmental as well as economic aspects. However, innovations such as mobility as a service and societal developments, such as infrastructural urbanisation, are also finding their way into the ASFINAG target network of the future. By the end of 2019, ASFINAG intends to create a corresponding destination network concept, thus ensuring availability on the Austrian motorway and expressway network in the future.