Geneva opts for bridge over lake instead of tunnel

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Geneva opts for bridge over lake instead of tunnel
One of Calatrava's four visions for a lake crossing. Photo: Office of Santiago Calatrava

The consultation committee responsible for planning the proposed crossing over Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) has decided that a bridge rather than a tunnel would be the preferred option.


The 22-member committee on Tuesday voted 14 to 8 in favour of a bridge, news agency ATS reported. 
However the choice allows for several variations, including tunnel sections at each end of the bridge, for example. 
The idea of a lake crossing has long been in the pipeline due to the traffic congestion in Geneva. A crossing would create a ringroad by connecting to motorways at each end, therefore allowing drivers to avoid the centre of the city if they wish.  
In June last year Geneva residents voted in favour of a lake crossing in a referendum, though the text of the initiative didn’t specify exactly what form that crossing would take. 
Earlier this year Zurich-based star architect Santiago Calatrava presented to the consultation committee four visions of what the crossing could look like
Calatrava’s office stressed that the architect hadn’t received any official mandate from the city, but simply wanted to help people imagine what could be done.
The crossing is still a long way from being realized and may not happen at all, since any concrete plans will likely have to be put to another referendum.
The idea of a lake crossing was also approved by Geneva voters back in 1988, before they subsequently rejected the idea of a bridge or a tunnel in another referendum eight years later.
How to finance such a crossing – estimated at over three billion francs – is yet to be decided, though supporters suggest a combination of public and private funding.


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