• Germany's news in English
 

Mosel Valley bridge to be built in wine country

Published: 03 May 2011 16:52 GMT+02:00

Pro-Mosel, a group of vintners, businesspeople and residents of southwestern Germany's scenic Mosel Valley, said they were shocked by the outcome of state coalition talks late Monday in Rhineland-Palatinate that gave the green light to the bridge.

The group was particularly incensed by a U-turn by the Green party, which had campaigned during hard-fought elections in the state in March against the four-lane motorway crossing.

Opponents, including powerful international wine critics, say the project is an eyesore that could destroy the delicate alchemy of the vineyards' steep slate slopes, drip irrigation and sun exposure that create stellar white wines.

The bridge has been a source of great discord in the area. Werner Schmitz, who lives in Ürzig, a town that will be in the shadow of the new bridge, told The Local last year that 90 percent of residents are for the bridge. “We need this bridge to bring in more tourists,” he said.

But anti-bridge campaigner Knut Aufermann said some people don’t understand the value of unspoilt scenery that the bridge will allegedly destroy. “We fear for the valley. It is going to be dead in 10 years’ time,” he said.

Click here for a photo gallery of the Mosel Valley.

The Hochmoselübergang (Upper Mosel Crossing) has been in the works since 1968 at the height of the Cold War, when the tens of thousands of US troops stationed in the region sought a speedier link between their bases.

The intervening years were marked by revised plans, court challenges and impact studies which the opponents say failed to address their key concerns.

Then came a decisive 2008 stimulus package. At a cost of an estimated €330 million ($488 million), the project would be an east-west supplement to Germany's road network, already one of the densest in the world. It is slated for completion in 2016.

The plan's centrepiece would be a 1.7-kilometre-long (one-mile-long), 10-column bridge spanning two low mountains at a height of 158 metres, tall enough for St. Peter's Basilica in Rome to fit beneath with room to spare.

Construction on the project began two years ago but a record 15-percent result in the state election by the Greens led opponents to hope they could stop it.

However the Greens on Monday ceded to their new coalition partners, the centre-left Social Democrats, with state party leader Eveline Lemke admitting that approving the bridge project was the "toughest thing to swallow" in the talks.

AFP/The Local/mdm

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:28 May 3, 2011 by poppet
Years-long battle?????????????? STILL no copyreader????????
19:29 May 3, 2011 by catjones
Grow hops on the pillars.
19:54 May 3, 2011 by auniquecorn
Open a bungie jumping stand.
20:12 May 3, 2011 by FredFinger
Why can't they make a little bridge down there at the river instead of a big one?
23:42 May 3, 2011 by pepsionice
If only you could confine Germans to never drive more than 30 km's from their home. If only you could make gas 22 Euro per liter and stop consumption. If only you could convince Germans to all drive 2-cylinder cars. If only we could convince all Germans to just live in a modest style with only 1400 calories a day.

There's this list of things that really improve German society....but I kinda doubt that we can ever convince people to be this stupid.
00:52 May 4, 2011 by krautrock
That bridge is really ugly: an insult to architecture.

It seems that Germany is run by people who hate their country and the guy who says that that bridge will bring them more tourists is nuts.

Maybe the Greens changed their mind because they finally realized that the height of the bridge is more or less the same of a wind turbine: they love wind turbines therefore the bridge should be ok for them now.
07:52 May 4, 2011 by StoutViking
@ pepsionice - Well, the Greens and the Reds are trying, and they're on the right track.

And yeah, I don't think the bridge will bring more tourists. If you want to promote tourism in this area (and I worked in the industry for a while) you got to have more than 1 brain cell to rub together and realize that it's not highways that bring tourists, but what unique experiences the region has to offer, and the Mosel valley is vallued for its wine, nature, and Roman history in the area. With a region rich in wine, the last thing you want is tourists driving cars. Lower train prices, for heaven's sake. Some of my flight tickets to Germany cost me less than the ride from the airport to my final destination...

...Great, now I got an itch to spend another birthday on the Mosel with a tall glass.
11:30 May 4, 2011 by jamano
Bridges are not ugly. To change the design a bit so everyone could be happy.
14:50 May 4, 2011 by jbaker
Ah! A nice,big target for WW III. There go the hops and the the good beer. The wine will be safe.
Today's headlines
Chief prosecutor sacked in media treason row
Harald Range (l) and Heiko Maas. Photo: DPA

Chief prosecutor sacked in media treason row

Germany's justice minister on Tuesday fired the chief prosecutor in an escalating row sparked by a controversial treason case against a blog accused of revealing state secrets. READ  

Greece crisis
Berlin's tough line splits European public opinion
Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras. File Photo: DPA

Berlin's tough line splits European public opinion

A study released on Tuesday shows that Germany's firm stance on Greek reforms has split European public opinion. But of all the main parties to the negotiations Berlin still fared best in the polling. READ  

Woman tries to take pony abroad in a car boot
Photo: DPA

Woman tries to take pony abroad in a car boot

A woman from Lower Saxony was stopped by police on Tuesday – for trying to carry a Shetland Pony out of the country in the boot of her Fiat Panda. READ  

Hamburg bunker blast and fire injure 38
Photo: DPA

Hamburg bunker blast and fire injure 38

UPDATE: A fire and explosion in a World War II-era bunker injured at least 38 people in Hamburg on Tuesday morning. READ  

Local list
Germany's top refreshing summer drinks
Photo: DPA

Germany's top refreshing summer drinks

Just like countries all over Europe, there's no shortage of multinational cola and other global thirst quenchers to be had in German shops. But what do you sip when you want a little local flavour? Read on to find out... READ  

Forest tragedy as best man kills groom-to-be
File photo: DPA

Forest tragedy as best man kills groom-to-be

A family outing turned into tragedy on Monday, when a best man in Thuringia accidentally killed the groom-to-be just days before his wedding. READ  

Slash CO2 emissions to save oceans: scientists
A humpback whale breaching. Photo: Wwelles14/Wikimedia Commons

Slash CO2 emissions to save oceans: scientists

German scientists said on Monday that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must begin falling immediately if mankind is to have any hope of preserving Earth's oceans as we know them today. READ  

Weekend heatwave to follow Tuesday showers
Sun shining through an apple tree in Düsseldorf. Photo: DPA

Weekend heatwave to follow Tuesday showers

Germany can expect a cooler Tuesday with heavy showers in the west of the country before returning to high summer conditions over the weekend, the German Weather service said. READ  

Merkel's office hunted journalists' sources
Photo: DPA

Merkel's office hunted journalists' sources

The scandal around an investigation into journalists reporting on classified information deepened on Tuesday as new information showed that officials from the Chancellery and the Interior Ministry tried to uncover reporters' sources. READ  

'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol
Image: Fremantle Media/YouTube

'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol

A 22-year-old from Hanover has become the latest winner of Vietnam Idol – bagging $27,000 along with his new title. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,097
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd