The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Cars jam for twelve kilometers in front of the Gotthard north portal

Travelers to Ticino had to spend more time and nerves than usual on Good Friday. In the afternoon, traffic was backed up in front of the Gotthard north portal for a length of twelve kilometers at times. Anyone traveling there by car had to reckon with a loss of time of up to two hours.

The reason for the traffic jam between Erstfeld and Göschenen in the canton of Uri was traffic congestion, as reported by the Touring Club Switzerland (TCS) on X. According to the traffic service, the Gotthard tunnel was also closed in both directions several times for a short time due to a broken-down vehicle. Traffic was also backed up in front of the south portal in Ticino between Quinto and Airolo due to congestion.

The TCS recommended that travelers heading towards Ticino and Italy use the alternative route via the A13 and the San Bernardino tunnel. There was also traffic congestion in Chiasso TI on the border with Italy. The time lost here was a quarter of an hour.

Freeway entrances were closed

Due to the high volume of traffic, various traffic control measures were implemented along the A2 highway. The highway entrances in Wassen and Göschenen in the canton of Uri were closed to prevent a gridlock on the parallel cantonal roads.

In the run-up to Easter, the Federal Roads Office (Astra) had advised against leaving the highway during traffic jams. The diversionary traffic puts a strain on the population in villages along the national roads. It also increases the risk of accidents.

In addition, the speed on the freeway between Altdorf and Amsteg in the canton of Uri will be reduced to 80 kilometers per hour in the event of a traffic jam of eight kilometers or more. The aim of slowing down traffic is to minimize the risk of accidents.

It's raining in Ticino

Tourists traveling to Ticino every Easter will not be rewarded with warm and sunny weather this year. According to SRF Meteo, heavy rain will start to fall in Ticino on Good Friday and, apart from a few brief interruptions, will continue until Easter Monday. There is a threat of flooding, debris flows and landslides. With highs of around 13 degrees, it is also rather cool for the end of March.

The traffic jam at the Gotthard has been a recurring event for years. The record for the length of traffic jams since the Gotthard Tunnel opened in 1980 was set in 1998, when the onset of winter at Easter led to a traffic jam 25 kilometers long. In second place is Good Friday 2022 with a traffic jam length of 22 kilometers. This meant a waiting time of three and a half hours.

Tunnel in Valais blocked due to fire

There were also restrictions on another popular Easter travel route to Italy on Friday. A burning vehicle had blocked the entrance to the Great St. Bernard tunnel in Valais, as a spokeswoman for the Valais cantonal police confirmed to the Keystone-SDA news agency.

A vehicle caught fire in the gallery in front of the tunnel, causing traffic to come to a standstill. The connecting road to Italy was closed for almost two hours. No one was injured in the incident.

©Keystone/SDA

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