Norbert hildmann never gets bored. At the annual general meeting of the riedenberg horticultural association, he showed the visitors a selection of his photos of the construction of the new bridge. "I must have over four and a half thousand recordings in my "archive, he said. "But I have selected only 370, which I want to show you this evening." there some became restless… It promised to be a long evening. It did – but nobody was bored.
At the beginning, every day on the construction site
"i have been retired for a few years", explained the 71-year-old. "I was an engineer myself, although not in civil engineering. I did not want to miss the construction of the new bridge." and so hildmann documented photographically all the processes involved in building the bridge since construction began in 2009. "At first I was on the construction site every day. I'm lucky, I live in riedenberg and I'm very close to it." hildmann contacted the construction management and got permission to take pictures even there, where the construction site was otherwise consequently closed to everyone. "Of course I had the constant contact with the construction management. You can't just walk onto the construction site like that."
Many of his photos show that he was often very close to the action, even at the top of the new bridge. "If you stand on top of it and don't have a head for heights – it makes you dizzy." anyone who listened to his photographic presentation could see that he was a man with expertise, but above all with passion. "Without that it was not possible at all", tells hildmann a few days later under the currently still double highway bridge. "We are now in the fourth year. At some point you run out of steam." nevertheless, even here under the bridge, with the noise of the traffic rolling over it, you can tell how exciting this was for him all over again.
Larval load decreases
"Listen very carefully", says hildmann "you can hear exactly how loud the pavement of the old highway bridge is." and indeed: on the new bridge – the roadway from fulda in the direction of wurzburg has been open to traffic since the beginning of december – you can hear almost nothing at all. This will be appreciated by many residents of riedenberg and romershag. Even in oberbach, the noise from the highway is clearly audible in certain weather conditions.
When he talks about the construction of the new bridge, about the difficulties that had to be overcome, about the enormous quantities of structural steel and concrete, the new bridge-building process, and about the engineering and technology that made it all possible, he is almost unstoppable. He also has admiration for the workers who went about their work in scorching heat and frosty temperatures at lofty heights. Some damage to the old bridge is clearly visible. "The welds have developed hairline cracks and are partially broken", reports hildmann. Damage to the pillars of the old bridge are visible even to the layman with a blind eye.
Hildmann is full of admiration for the work of construction experts – and he was able to convey this so well at his lecture that no one was left speechless and even the women listened admiringly, who are currently more interested in spring flowers and gardens than in pure technology. "I admired the way they used the crane to place the heavy components – with pinpoint accuracy. That was so great, he also gets excited again under the huge building. When the pensioner tells his story, you can almost feel the goose bumps that he too might have felt at this masterful achievement.
The old bridge is still standing, and trucks and cars still drive over it every day. But its days are paid. This summer, the four-year construction period is to be completed. The old bridge is to be blown up in june. Hildmann will certainly be there – albeit at a safe distance.
The bridges in numbers
The cost of building the bridge is estimated at 52 million euros. Eight million will be added for the connection. So far 53 million have been spent.
Long the new bridge is 755 meters long. The total construction length is 2.5 kilometers, the total width is 30 meters. In addition, the new bridge has a larger radius than the old one.
The bridge was built using the incremental launching method, i.E. Without auxiliary supports. As early as summer 2010, the first bridge sections weighing between 50 and 70 tons were delivered on vehicles, some of them with fourteen axles. The first roadway connection was built in june 2012 and was finished at the end of october. From the 6. December traffic in the direction of wurzburg rolls over the new bridge.
Piers the total bridge load is on seven pairs of piers. These piers have a diameter of four meters and are accessible from the inside. They were concreted in layers. The pier head, which widens outward, had to be concreted in three layers. Some of the boreholes for the piers go as deep as 27 meters underground. Spans of varying coarseness had to be bridged between the piers. The longest distance is 107 meters.
Concreting one of the roughest challenges was placing concrete on the first lane. Here was one of the roughest demand pumps in use. Drilling was carried out from the bottom of the valley to a height of 60 meters. The second runway was filled with concrete from the first runway.
A total of 9,000 tons of steel and 22,000 cubic meters of concrete were used for the construction work. 20 tons of construction material alone were required for the coating of 3200 square meters of the total area of the beam supports.