Renovation of the Rhinebrigde Maxau
This spring, Strukton and its partner Leonhard Weiss applied the high-strength concrete (HSB) to the northern half of the Rhine bridge.
In order to protect the special concrete from the effects of the weather, the work was once again carried out under a 350-metre-long working facility. The bridge is completely closed to all traffic to minimize vibrations and deformations during the hardening process.
In the 1960s and 1970s, thousands of steel bridges were built in Europe. However, no one anticipated the increase in freight transport and truckloads at that time. As a result of this increase, many bridges from that period are now suffering from fatigue cracks in the steel cover. A solution developed in the Netherlands is to replace the asphalt with a layer of heavy reinforced structural high strength concrete, HSB. The main advantage of this solution is that there is no extra weight on the bridge, but that the tension in the steel cover is reduced by 80-90%. Various projects of this kind have already been carried out in the Netherlands, including the bridge at Ewijk, with Strukton as the contractor. There are still at least 60 bridges in Germany that are also eligible for an HSB lowering. For the Rhine bridge Maxau in Karlsruhe, a division of Leonhard Weiss, a German construction company with a specialist branch in maintenance work and casting asphalt, was looking for a Dutch partner. In this combination, the first tender was won immediately.
In addition to the overlapping with HSB, the bridge will also be reinforced. Additional steel ribs and flanges are applied locally in the tube. In addition, major maintenance will be carried out at the same time, including the replacement of rainwater drains, the renewal of cast asphalt strips and work in the field of repair/conservation. Now that the first phase has almost been completed, we can look forward to the second phase of the project. The next dumping weekends are planned for September/October 2019.
In Germany, the reinforcement of the Rhine bridge Maxau is the first project to be carried out using our Dutch lowering technique. For this reason, various German Bundeslander and the media are closely monitoring the project's progress. If it turns out to be successful, it could lead to more beautiful German bridge renovations in which we can show our expertise.