Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner has successfully represented OBB Infrastruktur in a dispute involving the Semmering tunnel -- one of the largest infrastructure projects in Austria -- as on June 21, 2017 the Austrian Supreme Administrative Court denied an appeal lodged by the environmental organization Allianz fur Natur and a citizens’ initiative in objection.
FWP describes the Semmering tunnel as one of the largest railway infrastructure construction projects in Europe and reports that the two-tube tunnel, which is to connect the Austrian towns of Gloggnitz and Murzzuschlag, is envisaged to be 27.3 kilometers long. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2026. In 2015, OBB Infrastruktur estimated construction costs to amount to more than EUR 3 billion. The Vienna Administrative Court approved the large-scale project in November 2016, subject to changes in requirements. Approval of the project ”new” adapted Semmering-Basistunnel project was granted pursuant to the Lower-Austrian Nature Conservation Act.
According to FWP, "a few opponents had, however, persisted in the legal tug-of-war also with respect to the new adapted version and challenged the court ruling. With its resolution of June 21, 2017, the Supreme Administrative Court dismissed the appeal proceedings initiated by AfN and a citizens’ initiative objecting to the Semmering tunnel project. Following this decision, the approval for the new project remains in force. There are now no further proceedings pending before the Supreme Administrative Court."
“We are convinced that, should there be another assessment of the project, it will lead to a positive outcome for OBB Infrastruktur and that the project will be successfully continued and completed”, commented FWP Partner Michael Hecht, who led the firm's team on the matter with the assistance of Associate Sebastian Scholz.