For the Gotthard Base Tunnel to open at the end of 2015, the start of construction in the Altdorf/Erstfeld area is of central significance. In close collaboration with the Canton of Uri, AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd has found a solution. The Uri 2006 planning project for the section north of kilometre 98.2 is therefore being opened to public inspection from April 24 to May 23, 2006.
On March 5, 2004, the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy, and Communications (DETEC) approved the plans for the southern section of the NRLA Altdorf/Erstfeld project. The project comprises approximately eight kilometres of base tunnel, construction of the underground branch-off for a future underground variant, the portal area, and the tracks for the overground section as far as the socalled "kink" at kilometre 98.2.
However, also in 2004, DETEC suspended the approval process for the area north of kilometre 98.2 because of open questions, especially the crossing of the Schächenbach river. Following intensive negotiations, the Canton of Uri, the Federal Office of Transport, and AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd agreed to collaborate closely on defining the still missing plans for the Uri 2006 project north of kilometre 98.2.
The Uri 2006 planning project is now being opened to public inspection from April 24 until May 23. This will ensure connection of the Gotthard Base Tunnel to the main line in the Altdorf/Erstfeld area. The main constructions contained in the new planning project are the new Wysshus underpass and the bridge over the Schächenbach river.
AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd is also using the period of public inspection to obtain approval for two project amendments. These are the reduction to four tracks of the overtaking section south of kilometre 98.2 and improved protection against falling rocks on the main line to Erstfeld in the area of the Gotthard Base Tunnel portal.
AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd informed the Uri authorities (cantonal government, representatives of the cantonal administration, and representatives of the municipalities affected) about the changes to the projects and the planning approval procedure on April 19, 2006, before they were published in the Gazette of the Canton of Uri on April 21, 2006, and the procedure for obtaining planning approval was started.