Frankfurt's road builders never lack work. But this year it comes thicker than usual: December with its severe frost days has caused so many and so deep potholes that to date 1500 of these dangerous traps for cyclists and motorists had to be removed. This is six times as many as in other years, when an average of 250 pothole reports were received by the Office of Road Construction and Development.

Mechthild Harting

Editor at the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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As if that were not enough, those responsible for the maintenance and construction of roads and 500 bridges in Frankfurt are also struggling with the fact that due to the urban budget situation, the budget will not grow this year under any circumstances – with prices rising at the same time, according to mobility department head Stefan Majer (The Greens). Majer hopes that in the end more than 30 million euros will be available.

There is a lack of staff

In addition, there is a lack of staff. Around 60 of the 310 posts are vacant, and many projects require costly Europe-wide calls for tenders. According to Majer, construction companies and materials are also "a scarce commodity". In view of these tough conditions for road builders, he is glad that "we can get so much off the ground".

The "hot phase" will take place this autumn

Majer and Head of Office Michaela Kraft focused on two projects at the presentation of the annual construction programme. These are projects that have been discussed for decades. This year, the breakthrough of the Homburger Damm, an important railway embankment for trains heading towards the main station, is to become reality, which has been dividing Frankenallee in Gallus into two parts for more than a hundred years and forcing pedestrians and cyclists to take the busy Mainzer Landstraße to get to the other part of the district. The Office has already begun the preparatory work for the 17 million euro project.

According to project manager Daniel Schmitt, the "hot phase" will take place this autumn, when rail traffic on the dam will be suspended for seven days and nights and during this period the entire railway embankment will be removed in the width of the road and a reinforced concrete tunnel built in advance on site will be pushed into the gap.

Subsequently, the commissioned construction company will refill the embankment, including the four tracks, and relay overhead lines so that the trains of the Frankfurt-Königsteiner Eisenbahn and the regional trains of Deutsche Bahn can roll again. By summer 2025, the pedestrian and cycle path connection connecting eastern Gallus with Schmidtstraße and the shops located there will be built. Above all, it is said, the dam stitch is important for the cycle route from Höchst to the city centre as well as for the planned cycle highway from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt.

Construction of a new cycle path

On April 3, with the beginning of the Easter holidays, Majer says Majer will "finally start" another project that is being built in the north of Frankfurt: the construction of a cycle path between Nieder-Eschbach and Nieder-Erlenbach. 18 owners had to be persuaded by the Darmstadt Regional Council to agree to the two-kilometer connection.

This year, an intersection at the entrance to Nieder-Erlenbach will be rebuilt until the beginning of August, with corresponding diversions for car traffic. In October, the section over the open field follows, including accompanying mapping of archaeological monuments, because the path crosses an old Roman road. At the beginning of 2025, the first ones will be able to cycle on the route.

Majer had another piece of good news in his luggage: The city is taking on the renovation of Franziusstraße in the Osthafen, which has long been demanded by the economy. However, according to Majer, all lines will first be renewed there. According to the office, the Rhine-Main network services will begin on 3 July. Road construction will follow in the spring of next year. By mid-2025, Industriestrasse will be like new.