Tunnel under lake to be discussed
The idea of a tunnel under the lake of Zurich to reduce traffic in the city would be a popular solution to the congestion in downtown. 85% of those polled in a survey by the NZZ newspaper say they would support the idea. But despite its popularity, the feasibility and financing of such a project remains questionable.
The idea came from Bruno Kammerer, former SP politician and visionary. Inspired by the success of Barcelona’s underwater tunnel created for the Olympic games, he began to investigate the potential for a similar solution in Zurich. His idea would be to reroute cars between Enge and Seefeld to an underwater tunnel, leaving more lakeshore access available to the city and reducing congestion. A four lane underground ring around the lake between Utoquai and Hafen Enge would allow Sechseläutenplatz to extend to the lake and provide the Kongresshaus a shoreside seat.
However, with other large-scale urban infrastructure initiatives still mired in debate and discussions, the chances of the tunnel project being realized are unlikely. The city councilors of Zurich will be discussing the proposal next Wednesday, where the idea will most likely be burried. Some call it too big an idea. While the propsal is good in and of itself, the consensus in the halls of government is that it is too expensive and not realistic.
The city would be responsible for funding the project, which would cost an estimated 700 million Swiss Francs. Although a public-private partnership could help with the financing, if made to chose between funding new schools and hospitals, which the city also requires, and an immediate disturbance in traffic patterns during construction which would eventually reduce traffic, the NZZ polling results might have been different.