|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2007)|
|Part of E55 / E60|
|Length:||292 km (181 mi)|
|Major cities:||Vienna, Sankt Pölten, Linz, Salzburg|
The West Autobahn (A1) was the first motorway, or Autobahn, to be built in Austria, originating from plans drawn up for the so-called Reichsautobahn system. Today it runs from the outskirts of Vienna via Linz to Salzburg, where it joins the German Bundesautobahn 8 at the Walserberg border crossing. The A1 is Austria's main east-west thoroughfare and part of the major European routes E55 and E60.
The construction of the first two sections near Salzburg started a few weeks after the Austrian Anschluss in 1938, as the Nazi authorities had long before set up plans for an eastern continuation of the Reichsautobahn from Munich to Salzburg (the present-day Bundesautobahn 8) towards Linz and Vienna in what was to become the German Ostmark. An 8 km (5.0 mi) long segment was opened to traffic, when works discontinued in 1941 due to World War II.
Between 1947 and 1965 this "Little AVUS" was the site of an annual motorcycle race, the later Grand Prix of Austria with racer Helmut Krackowizer among the first winners. The construction of the A1 continued with the end of the Allied occupation from 1954 on, the final sections completed in the 1970s were the crossing of the Strengberg on the border between Upper and Lower Austria and the parts between Lambach and Vöcklabruck in Upper Austria.
Traffic significantly increased after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 and the 2004 enlargement of the European Union. Now that it represents such an important connection between East and West, portions of the A1 between the junctions of Steinhäusl and Sattledt are gradually being expanded to three lanes in each direction.
The motorway links to the following additional motorways and major roads:
|A 21 Wiener Außenring Autobahn (E60)||Steinhäusl|
|A7 Mühlkreis Autobahn (E55)||Linz|
|A25 Welser Autobahn (E552)||Haid|
|A8 Innkreis Autobahn (E56), A9 Phyrn Autobahn (E57)||Voralpenkreuz Sattledt|
|A10 Tauern Autobahn (E55)||Salzburg|