Vienna is the fastest growing metropolis in Central and Eastern Europe. It won’t be long before the metropolis is home to more than two million people, which will also increase the number of passengers using public transport. The forward-thinking infrastructure project involving the new underground lines U2 and U5 will make the public transport network of the Austrian capital even more efficient. The ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction works took place under the patronage of Federal Minister for Climate Action Leonore Gewessler, Federal Minister of Finance Gernot Blümel, City Councillor for Finance and Public Transport Peter Hanke and Wiener-Linien Managing Director Günter Steinbauer on 20 January. The extensive construction work had already kicked off on 11 January.
Important investment in Vienna’s public transport infrastructure
The U2 will now follow a new route, running from Rathaus via Neubaugasse, Pilgramgasse and Reinprechtsdorfer Strasse to Matzleinsdorfer Platz. The U5 will then run on the former route of the U2: from Karlsplatz via the Museumsquartier, Volkstheater and Rathaus to Frankhplatz. The Rathaus station will thus become an important interchange, while Frankhplatz station will be built from scratch. These two important building lots, which are being managed by a consortium comprising HABAU GROUP, Swietelsky and HOCHTIEF, require a great deal of know-how: For example, the existing U2 station, Rathaus, dates back to the 1960s and now needs extensive reinforcing and placing on a new foundation within the context of the expansion. “We’re very proud to be able to contribute our expertise within the context of this incredibly demanding civil engineering and tunnel construction project, together with our partners at Swietelsky and HOCHTIEF, allowing us to further expand Vienna’s public transport network,” says Hubert Wetschnig, CEO of the HABAU GROUP.
Rathaus and Frankhplatz
Over the course of the construction works, the area around Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz will not only be fitted with tunnel structures having excavation volumes of 250,000 cubic metres, it will also receive new entrances to the underground and service shafts. The limited space available, considerations for monument protection and – as far as possible – the traffic management are all unique challenges facing the team. Building lot 2 for Frankhplatz covers both the entirely new construction of the station and the connections to or conversions of existing structures, which will then become part of the new U5. Plans for an extension of the line via Arne-Karlsson-Park and Michelbeuern – AKH to Elterleinplatz in Hernals are already under way. The U5 will be Vienna’s first fully automated underground line, with completion scheduled for 2026.