Future model wanted
When the Köhlbrandbrücke was inaugurated in 1974, no one would have ever thought that the traffic would be as high as it is today, and thus the increase in strains the bridge would be succumbed to. When the first container ships came onto the scene, the transport of heavy goods, in particular, experienced a drastic boom. Today, around 38,000 vehicles cross over the bridge daily, and despite the extensive refurbishment in 2016, the ability of the bridge to remain in operation will end in 2030. A restriction on overtaking for trucks has already been in place since 2012. In January 2019, HPA took additional measures for protecting the bridge permanently – as a result, trucks in the area of the river bridge now have to maintain a distance of 50 metres from one another. This distance rule will be in force until the necessary reinforcements of the steel bridge have been made. Talks of a tunnel or a new bridge are underway as a future replacement for the Köhlbrandbrücke. A decision on this has not yet been made. On 13 February 2020, Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer and Hamburg's First Mayor Dr. Peter Tschentscher signed a declaration of intent in Berlin, which states, among other things, that the federal government will contribute financially to a new Köhlbrand crossing and that this will be upgraded to a federal road for this purpose.