Renovation and expansion of the ski lift facilities in Urserntal-Oberalp

The Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG (ASS) has launched a project to renovate and expand the lift facilities and other infrastructure at the SkiArena between Andermatt and Sedrun. In the context of the project’s planning phase, EBP drafted the environmental impact report for the project’s initial approval and completed various detailed environmental impact studies in the context of subsequent approval procedures.

The focus of the project was to renovate and expand existing lift installations and other infrastructure to promote ski tourism at what is known as the SkiArena, a skiers’ mecca that includes various ski areas in the Ursen Valley between Andermatt and the Oberalp Pass. One major part of the project is the creation of a link to connect the various ski areas in Andermatt and Sedrun.

In order to obtain the necessary approval for the construction of new ski lifts and the expansion of existing ski lifts from the Swiss Federal Office of Transport (FOT), the developer submitted the plans along with the results of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) to the relevant federal and cantonal authorities. This submission represented a new streamlined procedure that accounted for both federal and cantonal development approvals.

EBP drafted the environmental impact report on the basis of the preliminary and main environmental impact assessments and also carried out multiple, detailed environmental impact studies during the course of the continuing approval procedures. The planned installations are largely located outside of the existing development zones and within an extensively pristine alpine landscape, including fens and meadows within national and regional nature and landscape preserves.

In the framework of planning for the project, the routes for the ski lifts, trails and power lines were optimized so as to protect these sensitive habitats and to include compensatory and replacement measures. This planning took place in close consultation with federal and cantonal authorities, as well as with representatives of various environmental protection organizations and property owners. In the context of the subsequent approval procedures, numerous issues relating to environmental protection are to be looked at in greater detail.

The official go-ahead for the project was issued on May 30, 2014. Construction on the first ski lift began in 2015 pursuant to the approval further planning details.

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