Groundforce equipment helps save a historic bridge crossing

22 Sep

A bridge over a river in Germany, that was rebuilt using the remains of Second World War-torn buildings, is set for a new lease of life, thanks in part to modular hydraulic shoring equipment supplied by Groundforce.

The equipment from the specialist construction solutions supplier – a circumferential Mega Brace, plus MP150 hydraulic struts for two 14m x 7m excavations, is helping to save time and money on the project because of their flexibility.

Groundforce hydraulic braces and struts have proved their mettle on many major projects due to their extremely short installation and removal times as well as their high functionality. But the project to build new foundations for the new Egelsee B10 road bridge over the river Enz near Vaihingen, has demonstrated the equipment is equally at home on smaller projects.

The old Egelsee Bridge had a long and eventful history. Due to its strategic importance at the time, the structure was completely destroyed by explosives at the end of the Second World War. In 1948, the bridge was rebuilt on the old foundations. Since high-quality building materials were extremely scarce, the bridge was rebuilt on site with rubble stones and the remains of the buildings, as was the case almost everywhere in post-war Germany. However, a 2014 inspection revealed serious damage to the structure's load-bearing system.

Traffic over the bridge had to be restricted and a temporary bridge was built directly next to the reinforced concrete structure. In October 2019, the dilapidated structure was demolished by detonation and the remains removed.

A €6.4 million triple-unit pre-stressed concrete bridge with significantly slimmer piers will be built in its place by Leonhard Weiss Göppingen but after an investigation by building surveyors showed the old foundations were not suitable to be re-used, new foundations were required.

Leonhard Weiss ordered the circumferential Mega Brace hydraulic brace and MP150 hydraulic struts from Groundforce. 

"Nothing really special," said Groundforce project manager Ahmet Mese: "The customer has already carried out successful assignments with our modular Groundforce system. Even with this standard shoring for the excavation pit, the advantages compared to conventional steel construction are obvious. No welding is required here, and the construction is completed in no time at all thanks to the unproblematic handling of the Groundforce components. Once the foundation has been cast, the bracing can be removed just as quickly.”

Ahmet explained that if welded steel components had been used, at best only a small portion of the material could have been reused for the second foundation pit on the opposite riverbank. The Groundforce components, on the other hand, could be directly reused after a brief hydraulic adjustment. This not only saves time, but also effort and costs.

In contrast to the foundation work, the remaining construction work on the new 92m-long bridge will take considerably longer. According to current planning, the work is expected to be completed by mid-2021.

Groundforce general manager Nedim Cetin said: "Our hydraulic system is now established in many areas as a reliable and cost-efficient solution and is increasingly being used for standard applications in addition to spectacular large-scale projects and technically demanding special projects.

“The example of the Egelsee Bridge shows that our components bring significant advantages through the resource-saving use of a reusable rental system, even on a small scale."