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Local News Summary of December, 8th

  • Ailing tracks and many leaking house connections – 2018 will be a year of renovation
  • Basler Fasnacht is UNESCO cultural heritage
  • Swiss female driver runs over the foot of a German policeman

Ailing tracks and many leaking house connections – 2018 will be a year of renovation

Water dripping in the cellar? Leaking pipes? Then you might have a connection which was built in the 1960s to 1980s. These pipes are breaking these days one by one. As a result, local power supplier IWB has just as much renovation to do as the BVB transport services – since the track network is still dilapidated. Here are the hotspots for renovation works in 2018:

Still, the Basel cantonal engineer, Roger Reinauer, said it will not be as bad as this year. «Lovers of opulent construction sites won't get their money's worth,» he told at a press conference about the construction works in Basel next year.

However, it is clear that lovers and haters of construction sites likewise will not be disappointed. The public transport company BVB will continue to renew the tram tracks since only about a quarter of the network is in a good shape. The rest are, apparently, dilapidated and even giving cause for «alarm». The tracks at the Markthalle junction will therefore be renewed in summer 2018, however the junction will still be in use during the works. It is only other road users who will be affected.

Have fun with the renovations at the Centralbahnplatz in 2019

Rosentalstrasse - towards the Badischer Bahnhof and Zürcherstrasse - will be fully closed. Not only will track renewal works take place but the tram stops are to be made accessible for the disabled. Rosentalstrasse, which will also be made somewhat prettier, will be closed from 10th September to 21st October 2018, while Zürcherstrasse will close from 22nd October to 18th November next year.

«Construction works like we had this year at Steinenberg won't happen next year,» according to Bruno Stehrenberger, manager of infrastructure at BVB, adding that other repairs would only be carried out in an emergency. It is 2019 which will be way more interesting: The Centralbahnplatz, in front of the Basel SBB, is next for replacement works. A journalist mentioned how dangerous the square was, but the cantonal engineer Mr Reinauer replied that no adjustments would be made: «Compared to the number of daily traffic it is one of the safest squares in Switzerland.»

When it leaks on top and drips below

The energy supplier IWB has completely different problems. Water is dripping into cellars across the entire town. And not just in some areas, but everywhere. This is due to failing house connections. The IWB has known about the problem for three years, the water supplier said they have done everything to react immediately to repair and replace ailing household plumbing. At least the insurance sum is apparently «within limits», even though the exact amount was not confirmed by anyone attending the press conference. 

East of Gundeli is next

The city engineering office will keep on working on public ground in 2018: The renewal of the Mittlere Brücke will be completed, also the Wettsteinallee, and the junction at Basel-Riehen Grenze enters a next phase, since here everything will be renewed and redesigned which affects all infrastructure systems. All diversions will be adjusted and widened.

The Erlenmatt roundabout will be constructed, Kleinhüningerstrasse renewed, the construction site on Münsterberg will be finished, only Schlüsselberg will take another year to complete. And then to Gundeli: Güterstrasse Ost - the really ugly part of the long transit road through the Southern part of the city will be renewed, with new trees and new pavements. And, with around 15 million Swiss francs, construction works will be completed around Viertelkreis, and up to Zwinglihaus and Leimgrubenweg. A roundabout will be built, tram tracks renewed, pipes replaced, the road will be renewed. This will all end in 2021.

Basler Fasnacht is UNESCO cultural heritage

Basel's Fasnacht carnival has been put on the UNESCO's representative list of intangible heritage, and along with the «Fête des Vignerons» (Winegrowers Festival in Vevey), is the second Swiss entry to join this list.

The Fasnacht in Basel is an «outstandingly colourful and lively tradition» uniting music, oral expression, and handcraft, according to UNESCO. With almost 20,000 active participants and more than 200,000 visitors it is a significant cultural event for the Basler population, present in the political, economical, and societal life and helps to shape the city's spirit, the organisation said.

Swiss female driver runs over the foot of a German policeman

A German policeman was injured at the border crossing at Weil-Otterbach when a 78-year-old Swiss woman hit him with the rear mirror and drove over his foot on Wednesday morning.

The 20-year-old policeman was about to manage the traffic coming from Basel towards Germany around 12.45am and waved a car to pass one which had been pulled over. The female driver did not estimate the distance between her and the policeman and hit him.