Storm Damage To Major Swiss Motorway May Impact Summer Travel

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) The A13 motorway, which runs from northeastern Switzerland to the southern canton of Ticino, was severely damaged during the storms on Friday and Saturday. It's unclear how long it will take to repair the damage.

This content was published on June 23, 2024 - 12:05 3 minutes SRF

Massive thunderstorms and rainfall on Friday evening caused a landslide in the southeastern Swiss canton of Graubünden. The debris and flooding tore away some 200 metres of the A13 motorway.

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According to the federal government, repairs are due to begin on Monday. A spokesperson for the Federal Roads Office (Astra) told Swiss public television SRF that it is unclear how long the motorway will be closed.

“It is too early to say how long the closure will last. We have not yet been able to take a close look at the extent of the damage,” said the Astra spokesperson. A more precise picture of the situation should be possible at the beginning of the week.“First we need clarity on the missing people.”

+ Read more: the deadliest landslides in Swiss history

Three people were still missing after the landslide in canton Graubünden on Friday evening.

The damage to the Buffalora pass on the A13 motorway seems to be limited. This was the result of an initial evaluation of the structure after a section of the highway collapsed due to flooding.

However,“with a pass, you have to be able to ensure the statics (tension of the cables). The repair work can only really begin when the flood waters have receded,” the spokesperson said. And that depends on the weather conditions.

“A closure that lasts several weeks or even months has serious consequences. The A13, the San Bernardino route, is an important alternative route to the often congested Gotthard mountain road,” said SRF correspondent Marcel Niedermann. As summer travel begins, the closure of the A13 could lead to more congestion on the Gotthard.

On Sunday, a spokesperson for the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) told news agency Keystone-SDA that it is examining whether holidaymakers should switch to rail travel due to the damage on the A13 motorway.

Adapted from German by DeepL/jdp

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