Breaking new ground to the East – The development of traffic infrastructure in the Dresden administrative county
The need-based extension of the infrastructure of all transport carriers is of central importance for the economic development of a region. The Dresden State Directorate, as the planning approval authority and the authorization body for the funding of traffic projects, is involved in the development of the traffic infrastructure in the Dresden administrative county and thereby assumes a bundling role.
The Federal Government and the Free State of Saxony regard themselves responsible particularly for the fundamental traffic development of the region. Thereby the East Saxon transnational connection to Poland and the Czech Republic gains increasing importance, especially also in terms of growing economic integration and dependency.
The conceptual basis for the development and new construction of the major federal motorways, the federal railroads and the federal waterways is formed by the Federal Route Plan 2001–2015 (BVWP- Bundesverkehrswegeplan), the Traffic Projects German Unity and the State Development Plan of the Free State of Saxony. An investment master plan which encompasses all transport carriers additionally stipulates the medium-term investment strategy of the Federation for the execution of transport policies for 2006 until 2010 and creates the necessary planning and investment security for the federal states.
According to the currently applicable Federal Route Plan, in the Dresden administrative county federal motorways and federal roads with an urgent demand as well as with other demand are accounted for by thirty projects with estimated total costs of approximately 626 million euros. These measures primarily concern the construction of bypasses and the development of motorway access points. The objective of these measures is the elimination of traffic congestion and the development of structurally underdeveloped regions. Simultaneously, a substantial part of the projects opens or improves the opportunities of regional border traffic between Saxony, North Bohemia and Lower Silesia or establishes junctions to large nationwide transport axes.
Already in the past, numerous projects which were accompanied by the State Directorate or the Dresden Regional Council as the official plan approving and funding body were aimed at the opening of state traffic over its eastern borders and beyond. An example thereof is the new construction of the A 17 federal motorway.
On the German side, the expressway to Prague has a length of 44.6 kilometres, for which the Dresden Regional Council executed the planning approval procedure. The traffic clearance was carried out on 21 December 2006. Therewith one of the most significant transport projects in the region was brought to a close: Starting with the preliminary draft plan in 1995 through the planning approval notice in 2003 up to the clearance, the project engaged the Dresden Regional Council for more than ten years.
The section 1.2 of the B178n between Nostitz and Löbau, which has already been released to traffic, is a part of the important connection to eastern neighbours. After its completion, the high way will connect the entire south-eastern Saxony region between Zittau and Löbau to federal motorway 4 and simultaneously establish the connection to Liberec and further on to Prague.
Another example of the effective infrastructural upgrading of the region over the regional and state borders and beyond is the new construction of a runway for the Dresden International Airport. In the course of the implementation of this project in 2007, the runway was relocated and extended during ongoing air traffic. The necessary planning approval procedure was also in this case executed by the Dresden Regional Council. In the meantime, the airport in Dresden has also developed an attraction for air passengers from beyond the state borders. In 2008, almost 37,000 flight operations were registered there. Last year, with 1.86 million passengers, the Dresden International Airport therewith again achieved a record in passenger volume.
As regards its record in the service of the traffic infrastructure of the region, the Dresden State Directorate can be proud, however, also with its performance in the recent past. In the years between 2006 and 2008, the Dresden State Directorate, or rather its predecessor authority, the Dresden Regional Council, which existed until July 2008, created building rights through planning approval notices for the following projects, amongst others in the region:
• Federal road 96/federal road 6 – Westtangente Bautzen: This scheme aims at the shifting of transit traffic out of the Bautzen city centre and leads to an enhancement of the city ring road.
• New construction of state road 106, Bautzen southern bypass: Therewith, the connection of the state and federal roads which run towards Bautzen via a road ring and an express motorway access, is successful.
• Federal road 98, Bischofswerda eastern bypass: The project assures an effective connection between Kamenz, Sebnitz, Neustadt and Bischofswerda, and in addition guarantees an express connection of Saxon Switzerland to federal motorway 4.
• New construction of federal road 178n, section 3.1 between Löbau and Obercunnersdorf: The progressive new construction of this major motorway, which runs in a north-south direction, is of paramount significance to the East Saxon region; the route links the border triangle to the German motorway network and therewith in particular, also opens up the North Bohemian region.
• New construction of state road S 127b, feeder and the border crossing at Krauschwitz: Therewith, the relief of the border crossing situated in Bad Muskau and consequently the improvement of the regional traffic connections from and to Poland, is successful.
• New construction of federal road B 170 south of Dippoldiswalde: The capacity and road safety of the federal road, which as the Europastraße (International E-road network) E 55 offers one of the most important connections of the border region south of Dresden to the motorway network, are markedly being improved; simultaneously, the adaptation to the required flood protection is being carried out.
• Development of the B 156 between Bautzen and the old Kamenz county boundary for the strengthening of the Bautzen – Hoyersverda traffic connection and further to Bad Muskau.
• New construction of the Görlitz – Cottbus B 115 in and to the south of Weißkeißel: Traffic flows, which are initially routed from the south via the B 178 up to federal motorway 4 at Weißenberg, can take up the more efficient roadway and transfer as a link road to federal road 15.
At present, a total of 68 further project applications are being processed for planning approval at the Dresden State Directorate. Amongst these projects are again some which are also aimed at a better infrastructural cross-linking with the East European neighbours.
Thus, the planning approval for sections 3.2 and 3.3 for the repeatedly mentioned B 178n is now already underway, with which the newly constructed road is to be extended close up to Zittau, avoiding the Herrnhut bottleneck.
The Dresden State Directorate as the planning approver is also currently busy with a new natural gas pipeline, which is to cross Saxony from north to south. This so-called OPAL (Ostsee-Pipeline-Anbindungs-Leitung – Baltic Sea Pipeline Connection Pipe) energy line is to ensure the future flow of natural gas from Russia through the Baltic Sea directly to Germany and from there further on to South and West Europe, avoiding accident-sensitive land transit. The project therefore has significance for the security of energy supply of the entire European Union.
However, the Dresden State Directorate is involved not only in the east, which is close to the border, but also in the western part of the administrative county, in on-going planning approval procedures in preparation for further important improvements of the infrastructure. For instance, the progressive planning approval for the new construction of the B 169 between Riesa and federal motorway 14 provides for an effective connection of the entire Riesa economic region to the European high way network.
Mobility economically and ecologically organized – The development of local public transport in the Dresden administrative county
The local public transport (ÖPNV) contributes towards the coverage of large traffic flows in the urban centres as well as to mobile basic services in the poorly populated areas of the Dresden administrative county. The Dresden State Directorate supports the efforts of transport organizations, administrative unions and town councils for an attractive and affordable local public transportation amongst other things through the granting of funding. In 2007 and 2008 alone, grants totalling 167 million euros were extended for this purpose.
In the process, a focal point is provided for the continuation of the development of the commuter train line between Pirna and Meißen in the area of the Dresden-Neustadt railway station.
The modernization of the railway line between Bischofswerda and Zittau is in the process of implementation. With investments of around 85 million euros, the preconditions in the super-structural, civil engineering and security technology areas are created, in order to cover the distance between Dresden-Neustadt and Zittau in less than 80 minutes and simultaneously provide a speedy connection to our Czech neighbours.
In 2007, work also began on the railway line between Görlitz and Zittau to be able to offer transportation qualities sufficing present day requirements. This also comprises the construction of new entry points in Hirschfelde and Hagenwerder.
The state capital of Dresden still forms a significant focal point of investment activities in the transportation sector. With the development of the Lennéplatz, a further great scheme of the Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe AG (a public transportation company) in the traffic facility area was implemented. In the remaining route network the work, in the last few years has, above all, been concentrated on the completion of the removal of the flood damage of 2002, as well on as the obstacle-free design of bus stop facilities.
However, the highlight of the construction activities for the Dresden tram line was the start of the extension of the tramline section of line 7 from Dresden-Gorbitz to Dresden-Gompitz with a length of approximately 2.7 kilometres, that was jointly realized with the construction of the connection point of federal road 173 to federal motorway 17.
In the range of the bus transportation companies, the modernization of the operational facilities has been concluded. Here, efforts are henceforth concentrated on the introduction of new communication and dispatch technology. Commencing in 2008, at the realization of the findings of the research project “intermobil”, in future there is to be a regional operations control system in the Dresden region, which will ensure the connection of individual means of transport as well as serving the overlapping transport carrier information of passengers.
This system will become all the more effective, the more and the better the connection points which are created between the individual providers of the ÖPNV on the one hand, and the individual traffic on the other hand. The investment programmes of the Zweckverbände Verkehrsverbund Oberelbe (ZVOE – Transport Federation Upper Elbe) and Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien (ZVON – Transport Federation Upper Lusatia-Lower Silesia), which contain about 60 projects for transfer points in the administrative county, should in essence be completed by 2010. In the past two years, the transition point or rather, bus stations and PR facilities, were added in Glashütte, Dresden-Cossebaude, Bischofswerda, Dürrröhrsdorf, Priestewitz, Großhartau, Pulsnitz, Radeberg, Ottendorf-Okrilla and Pirna. Facilities under construction are found in Arnsdorf, Klingenberg-Colmnitz and Riesa. Together with the connection points which are to be completed in the next few years, they will contribute thereto that the number of ÖPNV (local public transport) users will increase further, which despite the decline in population, for instance from the previous year, increased by about two per cent in 2007.
A modern ÖPNV is naturally also characterized by the application of modern vehicles. In this way, the promotion of the acquisition of omnibuses is continued with approximately six million euros per annum. From 2010 onward the Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe AG will be in a position to utilize only modern low-floor trams from Bautzen. In Dresden, already since 2007, in the commuter train area, 53 new double-deck coaches have been in operation, which can be cleaned and maintained in the likewise newly created Fahrzeugwerkstatt Dresden-Altstadt (vehicle workshop).
A further concern of our office is the promotion of attractive and safe ÖPNV stations in the region, as these represent the direct link between the passenger and the transport company. In the local councils visible improvements have already been achieved with the annual construction of 20 to 30 stations and passenger shelters. In conjunction with the administrative union we will continue making further progress in this regard.
The author was born in 1948 and studied geography and mathematics in the German teacher education programme. After obtaining his doctorate he qualified as a professor in socio-economic geographical issues. From 1992 until 1998, he first worked at the Saxon State Ministry of Home Affairs and until 2000, he was the president of the Statistical State Office of Saxony. He is the president of the Dresden State Directorate.