The Federal Council wants to delete the once highly controversial express connections in the middle of Zurich from the national road network.
It’s been dead for a long time. But planning corpses are sometimes stubborn. We are talking about the Zurich Expressstrasse Ypsilon. The national road network planned in the 1950s and approved in 1960 provided for the motorways to be built right into Zurich.
The most visible part of this concept is the Sihlhochstrasse built in the 1970s on concrete pillars high above the river. Originally, it was supposed to continue across the main station. The access from the north through Schwamendingen and the Milchbuck tunnel, which opened in 1984, were also built. At its southern end, the two streets were to be linked with the west branch, which would have led through the industrial district, in the area of the Letten baths.
These plans were the subject of heated argument in the 1970s. It soon became clear that they could not be implemented. The result was the west tangent with the Hard Bridge. After that, what should have been foreseen from the beginning was built; the Zurich bypass including the Üetliberg tunnel.
On the plans, the Ypsilon survived. One reason was that a decision by the Federal Parliament is required for its deletion. In the meantime, the canton of Zurich planned to build a city tunnel from the Allmend Brunau under the entire city to Dübendorf. But in 2018, the federal government refused to adopt the city tunnel. The connection between Letten, Sihlholzli and Milchbuck remained in his sectoral plan.
Now the time has come: The approach of connecting the N 1 and N 3 in the city of Zurich is no longer up to date, writes the Federal Council soberly on the national roads development program published yesterday. The Ypsilon is to be deleted, which means that the National Council and the Council of States have to deal with the matter.
Zurich is now trying to heal the wounds inflicted by traffic. In 2009, the opening of the western bypass succeeded in closing the former axis through Wiedikon for through traffic. In the north, the corridor is packed into the Schwamendingen enclosure. The attempt to move traffic on Rosengartenstrasse under the ground failed in the referendum in 2020.
The tunnel in the main station, which was built parallel to the Sihl as a precaution during the construction of the S-Bahn, will soon be converted into a bicycle connection.