The A45 motorway near Lüdenscheid has been closed since December 2nd, 2021 because of massive damage detected on the bridge over the Rahmede river valley.
On Friday, January 7, 2022, Autobahn GmbH announced that the work on the bridge will take a few years, and those responsible for the project hoped the construction will be over in five years. After preliminary tests, the initial plan was to reopen the bridge to car traffic at least after three to four months after adding emergency reinforcement. The bridge was to remain closed to HGV traffic. But after further investigations in December, it is now clear that the 53-year-old bridge can no longer be renovated. Until a new bridge is built, the A45 section between Lüdenscheid-Nord and Lüdenscheid cannot be used by lorries or cars.
Traffic on the closed bridge has been diverted through the city of Lüdenscheid since December 2nd. The diversion routes are very busy now. The city of Lüdenscheid has suspended all construction works on the U16 and U39 diversions and adjusted the traffic lights to improve traffic flow.
Car and lorry drivers passing through the area are advised to choose longer diversion routes to make sure they avoid likely traffic disruprions.
The traffic along the Cologne ring road is already at its limit due to existing construction sites and closures, and is now additionally strained by the diverted traffic from the closed A45. Before the closure, 64,000 vehicles drove through the A45 bridge every day, including 13,000 lorries.
According to the Autobahn GmbH, since the closure HGV traffic has increased particularly on the diversion routes A1, A3 and A4. Compared to the two calendar weeks before the closure, HGV traffic increased by 13-18 percent in the first week after the closure.