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Elbtunnel Party

The 6-lane autobahn tunnel under the Elbe River in Hamburg was opened in 1975. It was designed for a maximum daily traffic volume of 75,000 cars. The current traffic on an average weekday is 120,000 cars. So you can imagine that most drivers are trilled that the 4th tube with 2 additional lanes will be opened to traffic on Monday. But first, on Sunday, the 4th tube will be opened to foot traffic as a huge Volksfest, complete with food stands and music. Organizers expect 100,000 visitors. There's no place for them to park, of course. They will have to drive to the AOL Arena and take shuttle buses to the tunnel.

I guess I can think of better things to do on a Sunday than to walk through a tunnel with 100,000 fellow citizens, even if is raining cats and dogs like it did today. And I don't expect the traffic situation to clear up right away. Now that the 4th tube is done, the reminaing 3 tubes will be closed for renovation, one at a time, so that all 4 tubes will not be open simultaneously until Fall 2003.

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