Road traffic, 17.06.2021

Project of the century nearing completion

The Zug/BaarTangente is a milestone in the traffic planning of Zug. The project, which has cost around CHF 160 million, has come a long way. The road will now be handed over to traffic on June 24.

It took 20 years to plan the Zug/Baar "Tangente", and 4 years to build it. 4 kilometres of new road have been constructed, including the longest and first road tunnel in the canton, with a length of 370 metres. Costs of around CHF 201 million were initially estimated for the planning, construction and land acquisition for the Tangente. The figures for the major project are truly impressive. And the time has finally come: The new east-west connection between the mountain and valley areas of Zug level is being put into operation. Here is a review of the major steps up to the opening.

The political process
The first foundation stone for the Tangente was laid In 2003 with the application of the then building director Hans-Beat Uttinger for a project development loan of CHF 3 million for a general project, which was approved by the local government (Regierung) and then by the Cantonal Council (Kantonsrat). The Cantonal Council then also approved the planning and construction loan in the spring of 2009, and the electorate gave the green light for the major project on 19 November 2009, with 59% of the votes in favour. The construction and planning project was subsequently developed.

The difficult land negotiations
The Zug Government Councillor Heinz Tännler, director of construction from 2007 to 2016, was heavily involved in the corresponding land negotiations. The objections that were raised before the public ballot were followed by objections against the approval procedure and complaints about the negotiations. One complaint ended up in the Federal Court (Bundesgericht), which ruled in favour of the project. Landowners, farmers and local residents had to be brought on board. And there were also compulsory purchases (expropriations). Headlines were made by the farmer of the Grossacherhof, who had disappeared and was eventually expropriated. The Building Department needed access to the Margelbach brook, and needed a piece of land from the farmer for the Tangente.

Picture 1: This aerial photo shows how the Tangente leads traffic past the Baar district of Inwil (right) and the Himmelrich district (above)                                                                   PD
Picture 2: The map shows the route of the Zug/Baar Tangente                   PD
Picture 3: The farmer of the Grossacherhof was expropriated.
                     Stefan Kaiser
Picture 4: View of the renaturated, uncovered Grossacherbach stream       Matthias Jurt
Picture 5: The pedestrian and bicycle bridge in Inwil was inaugurated in autumn 2017 by the then building director Urs Hürlimann (left) and the Baar construction manager Paul Langenegger                                                                                                          Werner Schelbert
Picture 6. The Zug Fire Brigade recently practiced in the Geissbüel tunnel      Maria Schmid
Picture 7: The new bridge at Margel.

The components of the project
The Tangente is intended to reduce the transit traffic in Zug and Baar. In addition, it will provide the population of Neuheim, Menzingen and Ägeri with direct access to the motorway network. It leads from the Margel junction on the Ägeristrasse to the Zugerstrasse junction in the valley floor as a two-lane cantonal road. From there, it runs on today's Südstrasse, which has been expanded to three lanes up to the Baar motorway junction. The integration into the existing road network takes place via six nodes. The 370-metre-long Geissbüel Tunnel is also a part of the Tangente. There are three roundabouts, three traffic lights and two bridges along the route, plus a bridge at the Südstrasse in Baar, which has been replaced. Two and a half kilometres of cycle paths and footpaths were built along the Tangente, three streams were renatured and eleven stream culverts were created.

The milestones
The ground-breaking ceremony for the Zug/Baar Tangente took place in the summer of 2016. Following this, the pedestrian underpass was replaced by a steel bridge at the Rigistrasse roundabout in Inwil, and a new bridge over the Margelbach brook was built. Construction work on the two main mountain and valley sections started from both ends in 2017, and the construction of the Geissbüel tunnel began in January 2018, with the structural work being completed in March 2020.

The costs
With regard to the cost estimate, Zug construction director Florian Weber stated that nothing has changed in the last ten months. "We still assume that the Zug/Baar Tangente will cost around CHF 160 million." This is about CHF 41 million less than budgeted.

The opening weekend
There has been a constant cycle of hope and anxiety for the organising committee. Can a celebration take place with public involvement or not? In the end, those responsible for the project have opted for the safer choice. The opening will take place in a festive setting from 18 to 20 June, but without public involvement. After a small celebration on Friday, soapboxes pushcarts will race over the new road on Saturday and Sunday. School classes from Zug, Baar, Menzingen, Neuheim, Unterägeri and Oberägeri are involved in the race, which will be streamed live under  The Tangente will then be handed over to traffic at 2 p.m. on the following Thursday, 24 June.

The travelling exhibition
Instead of a large folk festival, there is now a travelling exhibition providing information about the major project, in which large-format images and explanatory texts are used to present the dimension of the Zug/Baar Tangente on weatherproof chipboard. The corresponding exhibition will be held on the Postplatz in Zug from 14 to 20 June, on the Gemeindeplatz in Baar from 21 to 27 June, and on the Dorfplatz in Unterägeri from 28 June to 4 July.

The book
 A 196-page document will illustrate the birth, as well as the historical and political progress of the major project, with 2,500 copies of the book being produced. It will be available on site at the travelling exhibition, and will be presented to stakeholders and interest groups. A wheel of fortune will determine whether you receive the book for free or at a contribution to expenses of 5 or 10 francs.

Further information on the Zug/Baar tangent can be found here.