The last remaining stretch of the highway built by Germany’s Third Reich will get a makeover after being riddled with potholes in its 80-year life.
The 2.5-mile tract of the A11 motorway was built by the Nazi regime to get Germans back to their work. It is situated north-east of Berlin and links the city to the former Stettin city which now belongs to Poland with the present city name Szczecin.
The 82-foot-long concrete slabs that comprised the original roadwork had survived WWII but had, in time, succumbed to weathering effects brought about by time, elements and the increasing travel traffic between Germany and Poland. Repairs had kept the road functional for years but now, city officials have decided it really requires surfacing.
“The condition of the roadway is unbearable,” Frank Gotzmann, director of the nearby town of Gartz, told the newspaper Welt. “Everyone drives very carefully on it. They even drive in the left lane because the right-hand one is very bad.
he added jokingly, “Maybe they should make it a World Heritage site.”
The concept of speedy two-lane road networks that would link Germany’s major cities was conceived during the Weimar Republic. Nevertheless, it was Hitler and the Nazis that pushed the idea further and embraced it; since becoming Bundesautobahn which when translated in English means “federal expressway”.
The Third Reich threw itself into the task of building these linked motorways knowing the propaganda carried by the construction would be good for the party as well as the economic value it would bring. Before the war, the Nazis were able to complete 1,800 miles of road.
A11 renovation is due to begin in 2015.