Ongoing campaign to stop the Mosel bridge

Published by Sally on June 11, 2010
1 Comment

After gathering dust in the ‘big projects’ pile, work started recently on a decades-old proposal for a gargantuan functionalist-style, 1.7 kilometre-long bridge across the river Mosel at one of its most beautiful, and viticulturally important locations, running above a stretch of the most renowned riesling vineyards in the world.

Vineyards above Ürzig

Vineyards above Ürzig

The road is scheduled to emerge from a tunnel through the mountainside of the Ürziger Würzgarten vineyards, cross the river Mosel on a 160-metre high bridge. It will then continue above the vineyards of Zeltingen-Rachtig, Wehlen, Graach and Bernkastel.

A long-running, and lengthening campaign to stop the bridge is still in the ascendency, even though work on the spur road has started and politicians seem determined to push ahead. Big hitters in the UK press, such as Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson (on her site search: ‘Mosel bridge’) long ago hefted the weight of their columns against those of the proposed bridge.

Local Ürzig resident, sound artist and campaigner, Sarah Washington, emphasised it is not (yet) too late to halt the works, even though the official deadline to petition has now passed. Via the website, she still urges people to sign the petition.

She said she is also devising postcards which people can use to petition the authorities, possibly hard copy and ‘e’-copy versions. She said the more people who add their individual weight to the campaign may yet force politicians to reach a point where they will have to reconsider.

Catch up on the latest via vanguard campaigner and Mosel producer Dr. Loosen’s blog, including how to sign the petition on www.stop-the-bridge-org.

Loosen neck collar

Dr. Loosen neck collar

In the UK, Dr. Loosen has garnered the support of many supermarkets and merchants which list his wines. Look out for neck collars outlining the issue and garnering support for the anti-bridge campaign on bottles of Dr L Riesling 2009 from Asda, Booths, Majestic, Oddbins and Sainsbury’s.

The neck collars are also on bottles of Villa Loosen Riesling 2009 from Avery’s, Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett from Majestic, Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett 2009 from Sainsbury’s, Ernst Loosen Schieferberg Riesling 2009 from the Sunday Times Wine Club, and Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett from Waitrose.

Producers are also concerned for the long term situation of their vineyards. The natural water distribution will be modified by the changing structure of land use. Rainfall-collecting forests above the vineyards are already being removed for the construction works. It is not known how deforestation combined with a concreting of the surface will affect run-off and water-absorption and retention. Keeping enough spring rainfall in the soil to last throughout the growing season is fundamental in a region that is not allowed to irrigate. Already the frequency of dry years has increased in the last decade.

Such a bridge may well have been useful in the cold war era of its original concept and design, in order to bring USA troops rapidly from their military bases in the west to potentially threatened eastern borders. But now the four-lane bridge will cross the valley and immediately link to the current road, a simple two-lane (one each way) road. Washington said that to construct the dual-carriageway any further eastwards would require a new proposal plus a generation of planning. In today’s geopolitical climate neither the bridge nor any onward infrastructure are thought to be necessary.


One Response to “Ongoing campaign to stop the Mosel bridge”

  1. Vicki Mabrey Says:

    Great article, you have illuminated on great thought. BY the way I am a software engineer & moved to California recently. My family loves wine & looking for wine club membership, I heard about Celebration Wine Club , as far as I got to know they are very good & have wide range of wines to suit all tastes and all budgets. So any reaction about them is really appreciated.

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