Crazy bridges – how to destroy the Mosel

Planned bridge near Uerzig, Mosel

Two days ago the deadline for the petition ended. I confess that I did not make it in time. But I have joined the facebook group called “Stop the new B 50 and save the Mosel vineyards from devastating damage” opposing the building of this bridge.

The planned bridge is massive. It is about 160 meters high and 1.7 km long. It will probably cost about 270 million EURO which is equivalent to about US $ 400 million. On the facebook site above you can find more photos and animations showing you what the bridge will do to the Mosel valley.

The issue made it even into the New York Times which carried an article about it contrasting pro and contra views. Because the cost and benefits of such a massive undertaking are not clear cut. If you asked me to which camp I would belong, well, I asked myself two simple question: 1. would I give up my vineyard land for the venture? and 2. Would I like to look at this bridge from my window when I wake up in the morning?

My recent Australian experience with the North-South pipeline suggests that there is very little hope that such mega projects can be stopped by citizens protest. The Plug the Pipe campaign could not stop the project but it surely raised the political costs to Victorian the labour government. And election time is near.

Topher analyses the political economy of the North-South Pipeline. Unfortunately, there are no elections in my home state of Rheinland-Pfalz this year. So we are less lucky than the Victorians. The only thing which might save us is the empty state coffers.

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