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Baltics Fear Massive Sinkhole in German Autobahn Will Damage Summer Tourism

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The gigantic pit on a motorway in North Germany, dubbed the biggest hole in the history of the country’s autobahns, has reportedly reached the length of 95 meters.

The gigantic hole on the major autobahn in Germany's Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has doubled in size since September, 2017, when the A20 road sunk for a stretch of 40 meters and was closed in both directions. Now the pit has grown to 95 meters long.

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The situation has made the Baltic tourist industry nervous as it draws thousands of tourists each summer to the its resort areas popular in Germany and abroad. They fear tourist flow will drop due to the traffic jams that the sinkhole will cause.

On Wednesday, preparations for the construction of a bypass got underway, which should start construction in autumn. The expected cost is about 15 million euros ($18.5 mln), the local broadcaster NDR reported.

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The transport ministry plans to completely restore the road by 2021, according to its head, Christian Pegel (SPD). Now the authorities are in the process of choosing a contractor to undertake the repairs, but this will take several months.

The recent worsening of the hole was predicted by the state road constructors some time back, but the initial cause of the sinkhole hasn't been found yet.  As the German outlet Spiegel says, experts blame peat under the motorway, but it's still unclear why the foundations didn't withstand the load. It's been speculated they were too weak due to mistakes in the construction.

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