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Road infrastructure Multi-billion investment planned in Swiss roads

Traffic jam on motorway

The government hopes the money can be invested in road projects over the next ten years to prevent contested roads particularly in urban areas.

(Keystone)

The government has earmarked more than CHF16 billion ($16.5 billion) for projects to extend Switzerland’s national motorway network and to upgrade roads in urban areas.

This is CHF1.8 billion more than initially planned.

Transport Minister Doris Leuthard said the increasing mobility had its price and the collapse of a motorway bridge in neighbouring Italy last month showed the need to maintain the road infrastructure.

The government proposes spending CHF14.8 billion for projects notably around the cities of Lucerne and Lausanne as well as in the Jura mountains and for the construction of a second road tunnel through the Alps, a project approved by voters in 2016.

An additional CHF1.34 billion have been set aside for cantonal road projects in more than 30 urban areas, including Geneva, Basel, Bern and in Valais.

Switzerland has a motorway network of about 1,800 kilometres (1,120 miles), including tunnels and bridges across the country.

The government estimates that about 20% of the motorways will be regularly congested by 2040 including daily traffic jams of up to four hours if no measures are taken.

+ Why traffic jams cost more than just time

Parliament is due to decide on the proposals in the near future.

swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS; urs

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