In the year 1936 and 1937 over 370 workers had to shuffle out this road. Since the year 1953 the so-called Wallack rotary plows fulfill the job. With 4 plows every year the road is going to be cleared and it is a fascinating event to see while they have to dig their way through 20 – 50 feet of snow covering the area and the road.
After this event in April, the nature slowly slowly awakes from its winter-sleep and the tourists can come. For beginning of May the road opens and the quietness in this area is over, when the mountain goats, the marmots, the flowers, the tourist, the bikers, the cyclists climb up this road and go down.
The road has been used many times in different sport’s events, such as the Giro d’italia and the bicycle mountain race of Austria and the mountain hiking race, the marathon race and different mountain races by bikes, trackers, sport’s cars and historical cars.
The road has also used by Ferdinand Porsche for his first test drives. Also the first VW beetle has been tested in the year 1937/1938 on the Grossglockner Alpine road. For this tradition you will see every year different car producers testing their cars (many times they are still covered to not realize which car is going to be tested) to make sure that also in extreme conditions in the alpine regions and to test the new brake systems on the 47 turns of this alpine road. It gives for these tests the perfect conditions.
If you think that you could always drive this smoothly over this road, I have to disappoint you. The road has only been asphalted in the middle of the 50ies and expanded to over 20ft. of wide. The final stage of finishing the road to nowadays outlook has been done in the year 1973. Since this year no piece of the road is with gravel.
Since the year 2015 the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse is also part of the UNESCO world heritage and has to fulfill therefore certain rules and certain conditions.
Every spring and during summer time regular checks of the mountain has to be done in order to avoid rocks falling on the road and to assure a perfect service at the road. Also helpers for cars that are overheating or where the brakes start to malfunction is always provided. It is open everyday from 6am until 8am, in the months of July and August until 9pm.