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Andermatt Swiss Alps

The long journey to the start of construction in the SkiArena

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Intensive planning has been going on for years, and now it is finally in hand: the final approval for the construction of the first chairlift of the “ski area link” project at the SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun. The ground-breaking ceremony for the first six-seat chairlift took place a week ago on the Gemsstock. Dr. Peter Furger, head project manager, is pleased that the work can finally begin: “For me this is truly a happy day. For the past couple of years we’ve been working under heavy pressure on the planning and handling the various challenges so that we can now start with the project.”

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For the expansion of a ski area of this scale, not only must federal, cantonal and municipal authorities sit at the round table but also nature conservancy organizations. Together they have discussed in detail how a magnificent great ski area can be created without nature taking a toll. “One compromise we’ve agreed on is for example that the areas Tgombras and Unteralptal have been designated nature reserves.”

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Every detail is being carefully scrutinised and everything is being documented. “For example, for the dismantling of the old Gurschen-Gurschengrat chairlift it was determined that the soil around the foundations must be analysed and, depending on the findings, removed and flown to a landfill. Or that structures and equipment mustn’t be installed in locations too close to streams or lakes, and so on. We also commissioned various studies to make sure that no fauna is harmed, for instance, studies to protect butterflies, grasshoppers and reptiles.”

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Approximately 1,500 such restrictions and measures must be observed and implemented as part of the construction of the various facilities. “Each sub-project will be reviewed by the FOT on a rolling schedule. This task is part of the time-consuming and complex overall approval process for the SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun, which is being used in Switzerland for the first time”, tells Peter Furger.

The completed SkiArena Andermatt-Sedrun will include the construction of 14 new lifts. Ten of them are being installed in the first phase and four in the second phase.

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