Steel gives a new life to German bridges

Last year, German magazine Der Spiegel published an article about the collapse of old bridges in Germany - mostly due to heavy vehicles traffic -and the efforts made to reconstruct and modernise them. The reconstruction of the bridge "Demminer Strasse" in Neubrandenburg with ArcelorMittal beams from Differdange, Luxembourg shows that steel is an ideal bridge solution, providing a sustainable, quick and economic construction.

Composite solution for more resistant structures

To rebuild the bridge "Demminer Strasse" in Neubrandenburg, general contractor Matthäi Bauunternehmen Leezen opted for a filler beam deck solution. This kind of steel-concrete composite bridge is used for short and medium span superstructures with severe construction depth restrictions. The new two-span bridge has two separated decks for each traffic direction. It is built over railway tracks and provides further connections via the B96 road.

As ArcelorMittal Downstream Solutions successfully collaborated with Matthäi Bauunternehmen Leezen for a precedent bridge project in Schwerin, we won the contract in May 2016 and delivered H-profile wide flange beams in grade S355M with a profile depth of 900 mm each. Due to the closely spaced beams and prefabricated fibre-cement elements, which are placed on the lower flanges, no additional formwork or falsework for the concrete between the beams was needed. Thus, traffic interference below the new bridge was strongly reduced and expensive closure times for the railway line could be limited to only few nights.

Sustainable beams from Luxembourg

The 19 and 31-metre-long beams were produced by ArcelorMittal’s mill in Differdange, Luxembourg. Afterwards, they were cut and welded with transversals (IPE 400 S235JR) by Downstream Solutions in Bad Oldesloe (Germany). The thermomechanical rolling process of the high quality S355M grade associated with the anti-corrosion coating applied on the beams will ensure the longevity of the structure.

The beams, like most of our steel beams used in bridge construction, were made of scrap. This once again demonstrates the sustainability of steel, which can be recycled infinitely many times while retaining its properties.

Downstream Solutions and ArcelorMittal Europe – Long Products coordinated their deliveries with the customer and Deutsche Bahn, ensuring that assembling of the beams could take place at night in July without any problems. The construction of the bridge will be completed in the first or second quarter of 2018.

© Matthäi Bauunternehmen Leezen
© Matthäi Bauunternehmen Leezen