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Snow chaos on the Brenner Pass: Motorway still closed in the evening

Snow chaos on the Brenner Pass: Motorway still closed in the evening
Countless trucks got stuck on the snowy road.
Image: UNKNOWN (ASFINAG)

However, the situation on site improved step by step as the early evening progressed. A total of 80 to 100 trucks have already been towed.

  • Also read: Stuck trucks: Brenner motorway closed on Friday due to snowfall

Asfinag confirmed a corresponding report from ORF Tirol to the APA. Around half a meter of fresh snow had fallen, but the snowfall increasingly decreased in the evening. The closure extended from the Innsbruck-Amras motorway junction to the Brenner Pass. According to the state, the disruptions were caused by several “poorly equipped heavy vehicles” that got stuck on the highway. Other trucks tried to overtake these vehicles and also got stuck. The truck drivers used the second and third lanes despite the driving and overtaking ban. The path was blocked for cars and especially clearing vehicles and it was no longer possible to get through. As a result, the heavy vehicles had to be towed individually from a section of around three kilometers with great effort. This work is progressing, but is not yet completed, according to those responsible. Asfinag spokesman Alexander Holzedl told the APA in the afternoon that special towing teams were posted along the route as a precaution – these were supposed to get the trucks running again. The motorway operator was deployed with more than 20 clearing vehicles and towing crews.

Video: Problems on the Brenner Motorway

Partial total closure

According to the online portal “stol.it”, the Brenner motorway on the Italian and South Tyrolean side was also at least temporarily closed from the Vipiteno toll station in the north direction. The Brenner Road (B 182) from Innsbruck towards Brenner between the A 13 Innsbruck-Süd exit and Matrei am Brenner was also initially not passable.

Motorists waiting on the motorway who had been stuck in traffic for hours had been looked after by Red Cross emergency services since early Friday evening. They distributed tea, other drinks, snacks and sweets, it was said. “We will always climb over the central guard rail to get to the people,” explained the district commander of the Red Cross for Innsbruck-Land, Monika Müller, to ORF Tirol.

Trouble at Transit Forum

The block caused trouble at the Transit Forum Austria-Tirol. It was known that there was a risk of heavy snowfall, and chairman Fritz Gurgiser criticized the lack of precautions and described “Tyrolean chaos politics”. Snowfall has been predicted in the region for days – and “nothing is happening – no precautions, no traffic lights, no checking whether the international transit freighters are appropriately equipped.” Rather, we will “watch until the A13 with trucks parked across it is no longer in use.” Gurgiser criticized that high, avoidable economic costs would now arise and placed Tyrol at a “hot spot”.

The fresh snow also caused isolated problems elsewhere: traffic jams were also recorded on the Inntal motorway (A12) near Kufstein in the direction of Bavaria. There were also delays on Zillertalstrasse (B169), Stubaitalstrasse (B183) and Seefelder Strasse (B177), among others. After a traffic accident involving several vehicles, Sellraintalstrasse (L13) between Gries and Sellrain also had to be closed in both directions. And on the Felbertauern toll road in East Tyrol there was a total closure for all vehicles between the Felbertauern tunnel and Mittersill.

Snow chains are also required on Arlbergstrasse

Snow chains were required, among other things, on the Arlbergstrasse (B197) between St. Anton am Arlberg and Alpe Rauz in both directions, on the Tuxer Strasse (L6) between Hintertux and Kaltenbach and on the Sellraintalstrasse (L13) between Zirl and Kühtai.

In the meantime, the fresh snow also had a local impact on the power supply. According to media reports, over 500 households were without power for a short time in four towns in the central Zillertal and in Gallzein near Jenbach. According to the state’s own network operator Tinetz, the reason was trees that fell on lines due to the wet snow. By the afternoon, the majority of the affected households had already been supplied again.

The danger of avalanches has also increased significantly

The forecast amounts of new snow for Tyrol had also caused the risk of avalanches to increase significantly. In the eastern and southeastern parts of the country, avalanche warning level 4 on the five-part scale was issued above the tree line. This meant that there was “great danger”. In large parts of Tyrol, the avalanche danger was assessed as “significant” (level 3). A major avalanche danger was also warned for Saturday in large parts of the state.

Meanwhile, the snow also had an impact in two other federal states. In Carinthia, the Wurzenpass road (B109) between Villach and Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) was completely closed in the afternoon. Chains were required on Katschberg Straße (B99), on Turracher Straße (B95), on Weißensee Straße (B87) between Weißbriach and Greifenburg and on Nassfeld Straße (B90) at the Italian border. The Villach Alpine Road was already closed from midday, and this closure is expected to last until Saturday.

In Salzburg, on the other hand, snowfall caused accidents and road closures in the southern parts of the country from mid-afternoon onwards. As the police told the APA, snow chains were required for all vehicles driving over the Radstädter Tauern (B99) and over the Thurn Pass (B161) near Mittersill. Both routes were also closed for a short time. At around 3 p.m. the Rauriser Landesstraße and the Embacher Landesstraße were also closed. According to the police, there were initially minor accidents with property damage, mainly because the drivers did not comply with the snow chain requirement.

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