Lüdenscheid is not Genoa, but there are certain parallels.

The two cities have something in common: dilapidated, almost life-threatening bridges.

But there are also differences: It was exactly four years ago that the bridge in Genoa collapsed, killing 43 people.

Fortunately, things never got that far with the Rahmede Viaduct in Lüdenscheid.

After the tragedy, however, rapid reconstruction came in Italy: Today there is a new, functional bridge.

Since then, Genoa has become something like the new standard in bridge building: fast, efficient, unbureaucratic.

Corinna Budras

Business correspondent in Berlin.

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On this Thursday morning, it doesn't take long for the Italian port city to come up: Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) brings it up as he stands under the monstrous Rahmede Bridge and examines the construction work going on there.

The building from 1969 has been closed since the beginning of December.

Since then it has been waiting for its demolition later this year, probably shortly before Christmas, as Wissing announced.

It would be ideal if the pillars buckled in a controlled manner, like a giraffe's legs, and it then hit the ground vertically without causing much damage.

Enormous efforts have been made in Lüdenscheid for the past eight months to prevent it from slipping sideways and burying neighboring houses.

The rough terrain and the steep slopes make this a mammoth task.

It is quite possible that the blast will be broadcast live.

Two years later the bridge was up

Reconstruction is expected to take two to three years, including demolition and clearance, that adds up to a total of five years.

And that's where Genoa comes in.

It took just two years for the rubble to be cleared away for the new building to be up and ready for traffic.

Wissing also recalls this when he patiently listens to the plans of the Westphalia motorway company.

"Genoa had an emergency law," replies branch manager Elfriede Sauerwein-Braksiek immediately.

No tenders, hardly any formalities, instead a government that can order a new building.

Of course, building there is faster than in standardized Germany, where the hibernation of the local dormouse also has to be taken into account.

And yet: In Lüdenscheid Genoa is the benchmark - and not only for the suffering region,

but for the whole country.

This is where it will be decided whether Germany can build bridges, as it should be for a modern EU country, or whether things can be done like they used to at Berlin Airport.

That's why Wissing turns bureaucratic screws to speed up the planning, such as the "functional tender", which puts planning and construction in one hand.

Or the amendment of the federal trunk road law so that residents receive financial support for noise protection measures.

There are some dilapidated bridges in Germany;

At his first bridge summit in March, Wissing had to name the impressive number of 4,000 bridges that are either to be built or renovated in Germany.

But in Lüdenscheid the suffering is particularly great, or rather: unbearable.

Since the historic date of the immediate closure of the bridge on December 2, 25,000 vehicles have rolled through the city every day, including almost 7,000 trucks, which can no longer use the central traffic artery of the A 45.

Lüdenscheid is not designed for such a "needs diversion".

That means traffic jams, noise and stench at almost any time of the day or night.

Many residents are on the verge of a nervous breakdown, as Wissing can see for himself at a public talk after the bridge visit.

The anger of about a hundred people from Lüdenscheid beat him loudly.

Children have to wait hours for the bus after school, and people can't sleep at night because of the traffic noise.

"Lüdenscheid has become a prison," complains one engineer.

"We can't even go on a trip anymore because it always takes us an hour to get out of the city." They want the "traffic" out of the city - whatever the cost.

In this situation, Wissing has no choice but to make promises;

He cannot reliably promise that foreign traffic will actually be consistently kept out of the city.

After all, he concedes: “Legal reservations cannot be a reason not to act.

If necessary, the law must be changed,” he says, earning applause.

In any case, he finds: “Endurance should not be in vain.

The region needs a perspective.

You have to give her the opportunity to somehow come out of the situation stronger.” But there is still a long way to go.

It probably won't go as fast as in Genoa.