New section of A71 motorway closes gap in Trans-European Transport Network

The northern extension of the A71 motorway links it to the existing A38 east-west connection, making cities like Erfurt, Weimar and Halle (Saale) more accessible.

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Thanks to the new road segment, medium-sized towns in northern Thuringia and southern Saxony-Anhalt are now better connected to Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia. In addition, the connection to the A38 shortens the commute to important economic centres like Halle (Saale) and Leipzig, which is also a popular tourist attraction and the venue for large trade fairs, such as the Leipzig book fair.

The new road section is a four-lane highway with a total length of 23.4 km. It complements previously constructed motorways which were part of the efforts to link Eastern and Western German infrastructure after the reunification. Furthermore, the road segment closes a gap in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), which includes both the A71 and the A38. As a result, Thuringia and southern Saxony-Anhalt will be better integrated into the network of inter-regional transport axes.

Benefits for travellers and residents

Commuters profit from lower transport costs due to shorter distances, which lead to shorter travel times. In particular, the construction of the northern extension of the A71 separates through traffic from local traffic, resulting in increased travelling speed and reduced congestion.

The construction of the additional north-west connection also lowers traffic on the existing roads in north-south direction, which frequently pass through towns and villages. The local population thereby benefits from lower noise levels, reduced pollution and increased traffic safety.

The project is expected to generate 219 new jobs during the construction phase and is estimated to lead directly to the creation of 77 new permanent full-time jobs after its completion.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “New construction of sections of the motorway A 71, between the motorway junction Erfurt (A4) and three-leg motorway interchange Südharz (A 38)” is EUR 213 550 000 with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contributing EUR 119 600 000 through the “Transport infrastructure of the Federal Republic of Germany” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period under the priority “Federal trunk roads”.

Draft date

14/08/2014