Bundesautobahn 3

Bundesautobahn 3

Infobox Bundesautobahn
BUNDESLÄNDER=North Rhine-Westphalia
hdrs=!!!!!"Netherlands"--------!"Austria"!"Dreieck Ried im Innkreis"

BAB intro|3 is an autobahn in Germany that links the border to the Netherlands near Wesel in the northwest to the Austrian border near Passau in the southeast.

Major cities along its total length of 778km (483 mi) include Oberhausen, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Leverkusen, Cologne, Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, Würzburg, Nuremberg and Regensburg. The A 3 is a major connection between Rhine-Ruhr area and southern Germany, resulting in heavy traffic. Consequently, large parts have three lanes (plus emergency lane) for each direction, including a 300km (187.5 mi) long part between Oberhausen and Aschaffenburg. Some parts in the Cologne and Frankfurt area have been upgraded to four lanes, which is a second for German Autobahns after Darmstadt - Frankfurt (part of the A5) in the seventies.

Between Cologne and Frankfurt an ICE high-speed railway line (300km/h) closely follows the A 3's route.


The A 3 was part of the original Autobahn plans from the 1920s. Construction began between Oberhausen and Wiesbaden in 1936 and was completed in 1940. The border to the Netherlands was reached in 1942 ("Holland line"), Würzburg in the 1950s. The parts in Bavaria were built significantly later, with the last gaps being closed in 1984. The A 3 runs parallel to the Bundesstrasse 8, which it thus replaced as a main highway. Both follow the medieval trade route "Via Publica" that was first mentioned in a document from 839.

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