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Zell am See: Grosglockner - Lienz - Mittersill

129 miles
1 day
3 events
3 sections

The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is a panoramic road in Austria, it is a very beautiful road.

Driving time: Between 5 and 8 hours
Driving skills: Experienced Experienced
Scenery: Forest, Mountain
Road conditions: Excellent Excellent

Zell am See Lienz

Published on December 28, 2009 00:30 by Mbike.com

Travel tips & advices

Usually the road opens in first days of May
until 15 June: 6am - 8pm
16 June until 15 September: 5am - 9.30pm
16 September until end of October: 6am - 7.30pm
Last admission: 45 min. before night closure

Day 1  129.2 miles

Zell am See Lienz

Forest Mountain

Road conditions: ExcellentTraffic: AverageTerrain: MountainousDriving skills: Experienced

When, in 1924, a group of Austrian experts presented a plan for a road over the Hochtor (the high pass), they were ridiculed in a time when in Austria, Germany, and Italy there were only 154,000 private automobiles, 92,000 motorcycles, and 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) of long-distance asphalt roads. Austria had suffered from the catastrophic economic results of losing the First World War, had shrunk to a seventh of its imperial size, lost its international markets and suffered devastating inflation.

Even the modest design of a 3-metre (9.8 ft) gravel road, with overtaking points, appeared too expensive. The impulse for building a road, which was meant to open up the barren alpine valleys to motorized tourism, was given by the New York stock market slump in 1929. This catastrophe shook an impoverished Austria with terrible force.

_MG_2086

Within three years, the economic output dropped by a quarter, and redundancy reached 26%. The government then revived the Grossglockner project to give work to 3,200 (from an average of 520,000 jobless). The project was extended to a width of 6 metres (20 ft) to serve the needs of the "excessive international traffic" - which was roundly mocked - in the belief that an annual 120,000 visitors would come. The State advanced the building costs, and the users were to pay off this sum with a toll fee for usage.

On 30 August 1930 at 9:30am, the first explosives roared in Ferleiten. Four years later, the moving force of the road building, the Salzburg provincial head of government Franz Rehrl, and the technician Franz Wallack climbed into their Steyr 100 car, and achieved the first alpine crossing in an automobile on a graded road.

_MG_2031A year later, on 3 August 1935, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road was opened and put into full service a day later with an international automobile and motorcycle race.

Including the building of the access roads, the Glockner Road cost Austrian Schilling 910 million (at 1990 rates), around seven million less than estimated.

Planners had reckoned with 120,000 visitors in 1930, but the road's attraction for tourists in 1938 brought 375,000 visitors in 98,000 vehicles. After the Second World War it took until 1952 before the pre-war record was surpassed with 412,000 visitors and 91,000 vehicles. In 1962, 360,000 vehicles and 1.3 million visitors crossed the pass.

The opening of the Felbertauern Road (1967) and the Tauern Motorway (1975) throttled traffic by nearly 15 per cent, but it also permanently changed the character of the Großglockner High Alpine Road: from the only transalpine road over the 158 kilometres (98 mi) main alpine crest between Brenner and Katschberg, to an excursion road from a catchment area with a radius of around 130 kilometres (81 mi).

The Glockner Road also reflects the material advance of the people: in the early years, the motorcycle - as the poor man's car - accounted for up to a quarter of the traffic; 1955 was the highpoint with 47,500 motorcycles (26% of the traffic); in 1968, only 2,071 motorcycles were to be counted. The number of motorcycles on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road then rose by 2003 to over 76,000.

Increasing numbers of visitors made the stage-by-stage modernization of the road necessary after 1953 to a width of 7.5 metres (25 ft), to 15 metres (49 ft) in place of 10-metre (33 ft) bend radius, and 4,000 parking places instead of 800 and an annual capacity of up to 350,000 vehicles.


LIENZ

Lienz is a medieval town in the Austrian state of Tyrol. It is the administrative centre of the Lienz district , which covers all of East Tyrol. Lienz is located at the confluence of the rivers Isel and Drava, between the Hohe Tauern mountain range in the north and the Gailtal Alps in the south. The municipality also includes the cadastral subdivision of Patriasdorf.

Lienz is located at a road junction between the Drautalstraße highway, leading from Carinthia to the Puster Valley in the Italian province of Bolzano-Bozen (B100), and the Felbertauernstraße (B108) from Lienz to Mittersill in Salzburg. It is also connected by the Drautalbahn railway line from Villach to Innichen in Bolzano-Bozen.

 

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The Alps
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