|Lenth||616 km (383 mi)|
|States||North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Saxony, Thuringia|
Bundesautobahn 4 (translates frae German as Federal Motorwey 4, short form Autobahn 4, abbreviatit as BAB 4 or A 4) is an Autobahn that crosses Germany in a wast-east direction. The wastren segment haes a length o 156 km (97 mi), the pairt in the east is 429 km (267 mi) long. Wirks tae continue the A 4 are in progress, but currently no plans exist tae fill the gap completely.
The A 4 stairts north-wast o Aachen, where the Dutch A76 enters Germany. Initially it is 2 lanes each wey wi no speed leemit. Frae Kreuz Aachen tae Düren an frae Kerpen tae Refrath (atween Refrath an Köln-Merheim wastbound the hard shoulder is the 3rd lane an only open at peak times) it haes 3 lanes each wey. Atween Kreuz Köln-West an Kreuz Heumar it forms the soothren pairt o the Cologne Beltwey (Kölner Autobahnring). Atween Eschweiler an Kreuz Aachen wastbound there is a speed leemit o 120 km/h. The whole rest o the section atween Kreuz Aachen an Kreuz Köln-West heas a variable speed leemit. Atween Kreuz Köln-West an Kreuz Heumar the speed leemit is 120 km/h. Frae Kreuz Köln-Ost tae Refrath there is a maximum leemit o 100 km/h. The wastbound section atween Köln-Merheim an Kreuz Köln-Ost is restrictit tae 80 km/h. The section atween Refrath an the current terminus at Krombach haes no speed leemit. Only atween Untereschbach an Refrath wastbound there is a 100 km/h speed leemit frae 6 - 10 am on weekdays. It is maistly 2 lanes each way, but atween Untereschbach an Wiehl there are several additional climbin lanes in baith directions.
The eastren pairt stairts at the Kirchheim intersection (wi the A 7) an goes through Eisenach, Erfurt, Weimar, Jena, Gera, Chemnitz an Dresden tae Görlitz, where it crosses the border tae Poland an continues as A4 (PL).
The wasternmaist 11 kilometers o the A 4 form the maist easterly stretch o the European route E314: continuin east frae the Aachen interchange (Kreuz Aachen), the A 4 is pairt o the European route E40.
The first sections o the A 4 were built in the years 1934 tae 1937. Because it crossed the border atween East an Wast Germany several times, those pairts were closed an fell intae decay durin the time o German diveesion. Repairs o those pairts are scheduled tae be completit in 2007.
Wiehltalbrücke accident[eedit | eedit soorce]
The "Wiehltalbrücke" is a bridge which carries the A 4 ower the valley o the river Wiehl. The A 4 near Gummersbach, North Rhine-Westphalia wis the steid o the maist expensive traffic accident in German history: On 26 August 2004, a Porsche 911 GT3, whose driver did nae hauld a drivin licence an wis later foond tae be drivin unner the influence, collided wi a tanker lorry, carryin 33,000 litres o petrol. The lorry broke through a guardrail, fell aff the Wiehltalbrücke an exploded, killin the driver. The subsequent fire caused severe structural damage tae the bridge. The driver o the sports caur involved in the accident wis jailed for 22 months withoot parole in September 2005.
The bridge wis closed for weeks till temporary repairs were completit. Permanent repairs began on Julie 28, 2006, an finished August 22, 2006, uisin a unique method never before uised in Germany. For the duration o the repairs, where among ether things a 20 m × 31 m segment wis replaced, the bridge wis closed. The repairs cost € 7.2 million.