Hamburg’s Senate wants a long noise protection lid for the new A26. Conservationists and district activists consider the whole project outmoded.
Relief for Kirchdorf South: the planned noise protection gallery on the A1 Photo: BWVI/Deges
The red-green Senate has decided to finance maximum noise protection for the planned A26 through Wilhelmsburg. Environmentalists and district activists, however, consider a new freeway to be outmoded in view of the climate crisis. In the view of the Greens, too, this section of the highway between the A7 and A1 ("A26 East") is diametrically opposed to the "principles of future-oriented mobility," as its state committee put it in August.
As State Transport Councillor Andreas Rieckhof (SPD) explained on Thursday, the Senate intends to propose to parliament that 62.7 million euros be spent on a one-and-a-half-kilometer-long freeway cover. According to initial plans, only just under 400 meters should have been covered. To complement this, a half-open tunnel leading to the Kirchdorf Sud high-rise housing estate is to be built when the A1 is also widened by two lanes. "The construction of the A26 and the gallery will make it much quieter in Kirchdorf South," Rieckhof said.
That may be so, said Manuel Humburg of the Zukunft Elbinsel association, but "if the whole anachronistic project can’t be prevented, the least it can do is be a tunnel." This, he said, would curb noise, but not the pollutants of traffic, nor its fatal climate effect and counterproductive effect on traffic behavior. "The highway will pump lots of commuter traffic into the city," Humburg predicted to the taz.
Malte Siegert, Nabu
"The Senate is giving people a choice: Either you will be noisy and poisoned or we will build on your green space"
According to the Senate, the A26 East, also called the "Hafenpassage," is intended to make the port more accessible, create an alternative route and protect the population from noise and pollutants by keeping interregional traffic out of residential neighborhoods. With the highway, there would be 37 percent fewer cars and trucks on the B73 in Harburg by 2030. In Wilhelmsburg, truck traffic in particular would decrease dramatically, but would grow on Otto-Brenner-Strasse.
Malte Siegert from the nature conservation association Nabu criticized that the Senate would probably finance the noise protection cap by developing new residential and commercial areas on and next to the cap. "That means he’s giving people a choice: Either you’re going to be polluted and poisoned or we’re going to farm your green." That, he said, is anti-social. Instead of building a highway, he said, the city "needs to start making new mobility offers."