The Felbertauern landslide of 2013 in Austria: impact on transport networks, regional economy and policy decisions

The Felbertauern landslide of May 2013 caused the total destruction of approximately 100 meters of road including an avalanche gallery, generating traffic disruption and several direct and indirect impacts on the regional economy. The Felbertauern road, an important traffic artery for the entire NUTS-3 region East-Tyrol (Austria), was totally blocked for several weeks. Shortly after the event, regional decision makers sought to estimate the regional-economic impacts of the road blockage, in order to determine whether building an alternative route as a mid-term solution would be economically feasible. This economic analysis was carried out using incomplete information available two weeks after the incident. The analysis is based on a three-month interruption scenario, though the road blockage eventually lasted two months. Due to the fact that, shortly after the event, no up-to-date data on the regional economy were available, the authors calculated the impact on tourism by analysing overnight stays and on local companies by assessing additional transportation costs and time loss. Using these numbers, a cost-benefit-analysis was then carried out for a planned 1.5-kilometre detour as a mid-term alternative to the destroyed road. Finally, the impact on the local companies was severe, due to additional transportation costs of approximately € 760,000 to 1.4 million. The impact on regional tourism was calculated at about € 9 to 10 million. This study demonstrates the strong impact of traffic disruption on a regional economy and describes the importance of cost-benefit analysis for policy making in order to have rapid decisions and prevent large economic loss.


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  • Accession Number: 01718461
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 3 2019 3:11PM