Local news translated – Oct 26, 2023

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, Oct. 26, 2023

Expansion of the A 81 near Böblingen – New closures on the highway

The closure marathon in the course of the major Autobahn construction site between Sindelfingen and Böblingen is entering the next phase. From Friday, October 27, at 8 p.m., a busy connecting axis over the A 81 will be cut. The section of the Böblinger or Sindelfinger Straße between Steinenbronner Straße in Sindelfingen and Jahnstraße in Böblingen will be affected. The closure applies in both directions – also for pedestrians and cyclists. A new section of Leibnizstrasse will also be closed directly afterwards between the Smart-Areal and Sindelfinger Strasse. The Smart-Areal, which can currently only be reached from Sindelfinger Strasse, will then only be accessible from Friedrich-Gerstlacher-Strasse.  But while the closure of the bridge will be lifted again in the course of Friday, November 3, the adjacent Leibnizstrasse will have to be closed to traffic for longer – namely until the end of the year. The reason for the full closure is the widening of the A 81 to six lanes between the Sindelfingen-Ost and Böblingen-Hulb junctions. New bridges are required to span the wider highway.

The new bridges have been under construction since 2021. Most of this will be done while traffic is flowing.  This is also the case in Sindelfinger/Böblinger Straße. But the new bridge must now be connected to the drainage system. To do this, the road must be sealed. Detours will be signposted. Those who want to get from Sindelfingen to Böblingen must note that the Wolfgang-Brumme-Allee is still closed on one half side. As soon as Sindelfinger/Böblinger Straße is passable again, Leibnizstraße will be tackled. Here, among other things, the noise barrier is currently being built, explains project manager Johannes Kuhn. In addition, preparatory work for the new tunnel is beginning. The heavy machinery has already rolled in, says Kuhn.

During the Leibnizstrasse closure, pedestrians and cyclists can cross the so-called Elefantenbrücke (elephant bridge) near the Goldberg S-Bahn station and then use a detour via Vaihinger Strasse. Detour routes are also signposted for cars and trucks.  The question of whether it would be possible to open the Elefantenbrücke, on which only buses, cyclists and pedestrians are allowed to travel, to motorists for the duration of the closure was answered in the negative by the city of Böblingen. There is concern that a habituation effect could possibly occur and that it would be difficult to ban cars from the bridge again after the closure ends.   There’s more to the argument against it, says city spokesman Gianluca Biela. “The bridge is a transfer point from bus to S-Bahn and vice versa,” he says. Many pedestrians cross the road regularly. “When buses stop, there are also sight restrictions and thus possible conflict situations.” Also, he says, the streets in the adjacent residential areas are not designed for the amount of traffic that would occur if the Elephant Bridge were opened to cars. Incidentally, the Leibnizstrasse underpass under the highway in Sindelfingen is expected to be passable again by the end of November. By then, the public utility company should have finished laying pipes. It has been closed since January 16.  (Stgt Nachrichten, Oct 26, 23)


Who will replace Serhou Guirassy as VfB Stuttgart goal scoring phenomenon faces injury break?

Serhou Guirassy is the top scorer in Europe’s big five leagues so far this season, but who will fill the injured striker’s record-breaking boots at VfB Stuttgart?

The 27-year-old – who has netted an unprecedented 14 goals in the opening eight Bundesliga games this term – picked up a hamstring injury during Stuttgart’s 3-0 victory against Union Berlin on Saturday. Die Schwaben subsequently confirmed that Guirassy would be out of action “for a few weeks.”

The instinctive reaction around Germany and the world was that Stuttgart’s soaring form would be knocked by September’s Bundesliga Player of the Month limping off at the end of the first half in Berlin. The way in which his side turned in two more goals in the second period raised confidence that the flying start, which has taken them to second in the table, might continue – and indeed there are a number of men in the club’s ranks eager to fill his gigantic goalscoring boots.

Deniz Undav was Guirassy’s direct replacement as a substitute in the German capital, and has certainly not shied away from goalscoring responsibilities since his arrival on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer. The striker who developed in the German regional leagues and was playing in the third tier as recently as 2020 has smashed three goals, despite only appearing off the bench this season. He netted both goals in clinical fashion in a 2-0 win at Cologne before sinking a hefty header for his side’s third in Berlin. Staggeringly, having scored three goals in 134 minutes of action this season, Undav’s minutes-per-goal ratio of 44.6 is even better than Guirassy’s (46).

Silas also got on the scoresheet to net his third of the season against Union with a blistering run on the break. Having registered the joint-fastest speed of all players in the Bundesliga so far this term, the Congolese international – who has been frequently deployed either as a centre-forward or a winger in the past – might just provide the kind of unpredictable weapon to bamboozle opponents who had been preparing to counter the goalscoring might of Guirassy.

Stuttgart’s other attacking talents have shown a willingness to chip in with key goals so far this season, too. Chris Führich, who is mostly deployed as a winger, and attacking midfielder Enzo Millot have formed what’s been called a new magic triangle to support Guirassy, and the loss of the centre-forward to injury might just encourage them to attack opposing goals more directly in the coming weeks.

The pair both have two goals to their name already this season. Two delightful darts inside and finishes in a 5-0 win over regional rivals Freiburg helped endear Führich to Stuttgart fans – and also to new Julian Nagelsmann, who handed him his first international appearance on his debut as Germany coach against the US national team. Millot served up a similarly delightful solo goal in the Freiburg rout.

Young attackers Jamie Leweling and Jovan Milošević are yet to find the net this season, but may be given more of an opportunity to do so in the absence of VfB’s star centre-forward.

Summer signing Wooyeong Jeong had his first taste of Bundesliga action since returning from international action at the Asian Games on Matchday 8. He certainly seems to be brimming with confidence, having scored a tournament-leading eight goals to help South Korea win gold. He also delivered the cross for Undav to head the third during his late cameo appearance.

A clash at home to Hoffenheim on Matchday 9 will provide the first glimpse of how Stuttgart cope during Guirassy’s injury hiatus. While he would have preferred his talisman to stay fit – Guirassy is the only player in Europe’s top five leagues this century, other than Cristiano Ronaldo (2014/15), to score 14 goals in the first eight matches of a season – Sebastian Hoeneß can shuffle his pack safe in the knowledge there are several players capable of stepping out of his shadow and onto the scoresheet.( Official Website SKY, Bundesliga)