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Mosel Bridge financially unviable, opponents claim

A new financial evaluation of the controversial Mosel Bridge proves the project is not worth completing, say opponents of the bridge.

Artist’s impression of the Mosel Bridge

A cost-benefit analysis conducted at the insistence of the Green Party has revealed the bridge will yield only €1.80 for ever €1 spent. This is far below the original 1992 estimate of €3.4 to €1 generated, which was cited in support of the project.

Germany’s Minster for Transport Peter Ramsauer recently stipulated, in light of austerity measures, that projects with a cost-benefit ratio of less than 4:1 would not be approved.

‘Our problem is that the project is already underway,’ said Sarah Washington, a spokesperson for Pro-Mosel, which says the bridge will ruin the Mosel Valley’s vineyards and villages.

‘The Green Party now wants to expose how financially ridiculous it is – that it would cost far less to stop it at this point than to continue construction and see costs escalate.’

Washington said that even the projection of 1.8:1 may be optimistic, as it does not take into account the additional costs associated with the loss-making Frankfurt Hahn airport, which is highly subsidised, and was supposed to generate income for the Mosel via visitors whose numbers were factored into the traffic studies associated with the Bridge project. However, according to reports passenger numbers are far fewer than expected.

‘The Green Party have asked to see the figures. It could be that the real cost-benefit is less than 1:1, in other words, it’s already loss-making,’ Washington said.

Washington noted that the Green Party’s ratings have soared due to their stance on a variety of infrastructure projects. She is hopeful that the revelations that the bridge will not meet the government’s stated criteria – combined with a possible change in political leadership in the first quarter of 2011 – will be enough to halt construction.

‘Even though it has been proved that the project will do far more harm than good, what we have been faced with all along is the complete arrogance of the politicians,’ she said.

‘But now we’ve made ourselves enough of a pain, they have to talk to us. They can no longer just keep quiet and carry on.

Written by Maggie Rosen

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