Starting today, 25 May the heavily damaged cantonal road between Gsteig and Col du Pillon will be repaired. The affected passage will be completely closed.
According to a public announcement, the cantonal road between Gsteig and Col du Pillon will be completely closed. On weekends, the passage will be single-lane and regulated by a traffic lights.
Preparation is key
The road condition on the section between Gsteig and Col du Pillon deteriorated noticeably. Repair work in the past only led to temporary improvements. The increasing damage to the road has increased to an extent that now requires more thorough repair work.
In order to repair the affected part of the road a comprehensive analysis of the cause of the damage was required. The condition of the subsoil on the affected section was also analysed in order to determine the most suitable repair method.
The ban on assembly, which has been in force for more than two months as a measure against the corona pandemic, made a prior information event impossible. For the same reason, it remained uncertain as to whether the construction project could be implemented within the planned framework.
The resulting short-term information policy caused some frustration among the residents. The canton apologised both to the 40 or so resident and to the municipality of Gsteig for the inconvenience caused and the many unresolved questions. In a second letter, the Civil Engineering Office informed all those affected about passage possibilities or transport alternatives in emergencies. The transport of milk is regulated in cooperation with the municipality of Gsteig.
The entire renovation work is expected to take five weeks. Two teams are involved: One will be deployed on the Höji – Reusch section and will operate from Gsteig. The other will access the second section of the Reusch – cantonal border from Les Diablerets.
There is no right time
Many considerations were made in the run-up to the project in order to find the most favourable time for the renovation. However, as is well known, there is no such time and so this spring was described as the least inconvenient for the residents. According to the Civil Engineering Office, the relatively low traffic volume due to the corona measures, also speaks in favour of setting up the construction site at this time.
No alternatives to full closure?
There is simply no alternative to a bypass in this area. For safety reasons, the frequently communicated wish for single-lane traffic routing could not be complied with. More than half of the entire road width is needed to keep one side of the road open. Passing the construction site, which has an excavation depth of up to one metre, unsecured and with a clearance of around 20 centimetres, poses an unmanageable risk. A temporary widening of the carriageway, which could help to solve the problem, is not available in this case due to a very steep topography in this area. The costs of the repair work are estimated by the Civil Engineering Office of the Canton of Berne at CHF 3m
Based on AvS/Jenny Sterchi