24 trucks test a German highway bridge [+foto’s]

24 trucks test a German highway bridge [+foto’s]

Winningen – Damage to the bridge structure was found on the motorway bridge over the Moselle on the A61 near Winningen, Germany. Strict rules currently apply to the loosening of the bridge structure. The amazing procedure will now help in the repair.

Last Sunday, May 26, the second highest bridge in Germany on the A61 motorway was completely closed to traffic from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Only 24 trucks weighing forty tons each were allowed to drive to the middle of the bridge to be refitted and parked in four rows 136 meters above the Moselle.

In addition to presenting a beautiful image, Die Autobahn GmbH (German Public Works Administration) wanted to use the vehicles, which had a total weight of 960 tons and were fixed to the bridge, to test how the steel structure changed due to the weight of the bridge. Trucks. The test results will be included in repair work on the road slab and steel superstructure, which will begin in 2024.

As the Federal Highway Agency announced in February 2023, “cracks formed in the welds of the bridge body” were discovered during a regular structural inspection. The cause can be attributed to fatigue of welded steel connections.

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As an immediate measure to relieve pressure on the bridge, a speed limit of 60 km/h in both directions in the right lane is currently in effect. Cars are only allowed to drive in the left lane at speeds up to 80 km/h.

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For the movement of heavy goods weighing up to 44 tons, a minimum distance of 50 meters applies, which must also be maintained during traffic jams. Large-capacity and heavy-duty vehicles are not allowed to pass until further notice.

Currently, about 37,000 vehicles daily cross the Moselle Valley Bridge, built in 1972, a third of them transporting goods. What makes matters worse is that the A61 is widely serving as a diversion for the A45, with the Rachmidtal Bridge in Lüdenscheid being closed over the next few years.

Consequently, the freight throughput has increased from about 20 percent in 2019 to 30 percent now. According to an internal study by Autobahn GmbH in 2022, 28,000 bridges in Germany need repair or replacement.

The bridge is located between the intersections Koblenz/Deblich and Koblenz/Meternich and consists of six bridges supported by two supports and five columns. The height of the highest column is 124 metres. The length of the bridge is 935 meters, its width is 30.5 metres, and the spans of the individual bridge are about 220 metres. The maximum height of the road above the ground is 136 metres. This makes it the second highest motorway bridge in Germany, after the 185-metre-high Kochertal Bridge in Baden-Württemberg.

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