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Local News Summary of March, 21st

  • Large-scale constructions kick off Basel’s spring: building site and trams blocked at Dorenbach 
  • Flu epidemic in Basel is over 

Large-scale constructions kick off Basel’s spring: building site and trams blocked at Dorenbach 

The most important facts in a nutshell: 

  • The Dorenbach roundabout will be closed to tram traffic from this week until 9 June. 
  • Road works around the tram tracks at Aeschengraben are due to start on 5 May and last until 21 May. The route will be closed to trams during this time. 
  • The renovation of Kleinhüningerstrasse begins on 3 April and are expected to last all summer. 
  • The first road works on the Mittlere Brücke start on 4 April; trams will be unable to use the bridge and the work will take eight weeks. 

The Dorenbach roundabout in the south of Basel is a bottleneck for people commuting to and from Binningen and Allschwil. As of Monday (yesterday), works to replace the tram tracks in that area have begun. This will causes some disruption: tram lines 1 and 2 will not be running to their full schedule during workdays, and will instead be replaced by buses. 

Unfortunately, these road works coincide with the start of Baselworld. However, it is the municipality of Binningen that will be unreachable by trams during the renovation: the tram lines 1 and 2 will run as normal from Basel’s train station SBB and head straight to the exhibition square in Kleinbasel. Baselworld, a major watch and jewellery exhibition, should not be affected by the road works. 

An overview of the Dorenbach diversions between 20 March and 9 June: 

Tram line 1 

Monday to Friday during rush hour: 

From the SBB train station via Bankverein to the German Railway Station (Badischer Bahnhof) and return 

Monday to Friday during off-peak hours: 

From the SBB train station via Bankverein to the Eglisee and back 

Saturday and Sunday, all day: 

From the SBB train station via Bankverein to the German Railway Station and back 

Tram line 2 

Monday to Friday during rush hour: 

From Riehen Fondation Beyeler via the SBB train station to Morgartenring and back 

Monday to Sunday, all day: 

Replacement buses will run from track B at the SBB train station to Binningen Kronenplatz along tram line 2 and back. 

Bus line 36 

For the entirety of the construction work: 

The Zoo Dorenbach bus stop will be moved slightly and signs will be on-site. 

The traffic riddle of Basel’s centre 

The Dorenbach roundabout has been a construction site since last year: the worn-out road has to be renewed. The Industrial Works of Basel (IWB) has already renovated the underground cables and now it is the turn of the Basel Transport Services (BVB). The road works will take several weeks and are expected to end on Friday, 9 June. Trams will run on new tracks before the summer holidays. 

So not only flowers but also construction sites are blooming in Basel’s spring. The BVB are already working on the tram line in Riehen, which is why half the town has become a detour route for vehicles heading towards Basel. 

Likewise, the tram and bus stops and Kleinhüningerstrasse will renovated as of 3 April to make them accessible for disabled passengers. The IWB and BVB are also replacing underground cables, road and pavement surfaces- and the tram tracks, of course. 

Mittlere Brücke and Aeschengraben will also be renovated during the spring 

Two cumbersome projects will follow in the coming months. The Mittlere Brücke and Greifengasse will receive a new tarmac, better pavements, tram tracks, and cables. This is a major project for Basel’s city centre: the bridge will be partly blocked to traffic. The road works are constantly updated in the cantonal report. The first renovations start on 4 April, with tram track renovations starting in the summer. These are expected to take eight weeks, Daniel Hofer, from the civil engineering office, said.

The second project is also prominently placed: the Aeschengraben will undergo similar renovations as the Mittlere Brücke. This area is an equally neuralgic point, as it is a main road from the motorway and SBB train station to the city centre. However, as only the tram route will be blocked, car traffic will be only minimally affected, if at all. Yet there will be consequences for all tram lines running between the SBB train station and Aeschenplatz – and therefore for all main lines used by commuters. The road works are set to begin on 5 May and end on 21 May, the civil engineering office states. 

It is the second year of large-scale road works in the city centre for Basel. The works were announced already in December under the title of “Grosse Bauprojekte Tiefbauamt, BVB, IWB 2017” (Large-scale construction projects of civil engineering office, BVB, IWB 2017). 

Back then, the canton stated that 2017 would not be a major year of construction works. But as the BVB have to carry out many tram track renovations due to the worn-out line network, the number of disruption is significant. In addition, the affected areas are at well-used axes in the city – such as the Mittlere Brücke or Aeschengraben. 

Basel’s commuters will be encountering obstructions also in autumn 

And if you believe that this traffic riddle will be solved by the end of the spring, you are wrong: the tram turning loop at the border to Burgfelden will be out of service as of this summer so that the tram line 3 can run to St. Louis in the future. And in the autumn holidays, the tram tracks of Münchensteinerstrasse will be renewed. Another light-hearted project, since several tram lines will be affected by these renovations as well, including those to Münchenstein and Reinach. The heavily loaded yellow commuter trams of the Baselland Transport Services (BLT) will be redirected during that time. 

Several options are available to a public transport commuter in Basel: Wait for redirected trams, walk on foot from time to time and read up on the latest information – or stay informed through barfi.ch: We will keep you updated regarding construction sites and disruption so you do not lose the overview in the spider web of renovations. Meanwhile, the BVB will be digging up all the old tracks that have been worn down through the massive use of the past decades. 

Flu epidemic in Basel is over 

With the beginning of spring, the end of the flu epidemic in Basel and across Switzerland has been officially declared. A total of 125 doctors reported 5,5 cases of flu in every 1,000 appointments leading up to the week before 14 March. In the last week there have been sporadic cases of flu in some regions of Switzerland, but the illness is longer present in Basel. 

This is equal to 44 flu cases in 100,000 inhabitants in the week before mid-March, the Federal Office for Health (BAG) said in its bulletin. The threshold value for an epidemic is at 64 cases. The flu was still widespread in the cantons of Bern, Fribourg, and Jura in March, however. In the cantons of Aargau, both Basels, and Solothurn, no more cases have been reported. 

Among the affected, children suffered most from influenza-like illnesses, but the flu was also prevalent among those between 15 and 29 years of age. The flu epidemic over the winter 2016/2017 lasted eleven weeks. It began before the Christmas holidays in December, earlier than in the previous two years. The highest number of possible flu cases was reported in mid-January with 368 out of 100,000 inhabitants. The epidemic ended at the end of February. 

In the last week of 2016 and the first six weeks of 2017, more elderly people (65 years and above) than normal died of flu-related causes over the winter. Across Europe, the activity of influenza-like illnesses was still high in recent weeks, the BAG reports. However, the peak of the flu epidemic has been passed in all European countries and in northern America and Asia as well.