Revitalisation of the Fulda Bridge at Bergshausen using mconnect

17. January 2020

The Fulda bridge at Bergshausen is an extremely impressive seven-span viaduct on the A44 motorway, with a superstructure in a two-part steel truss design. This construction method is rarely found today. The bridge superstructure has a total length of approx. 700 metres and runs in a straight geometry at a height of 50 metres above the valley floor. Over the years, the continuous and constantly increasing freight traffic load has caused severe damage to the bridge structure and is the main cause of its poor condition. Static strengthening was essential if immediate closure and demolition was to be avoided.  The aim of the refurbishment was to extend the useful life of the bridge structure until the planned new bridge was opened. The strengthening activities on the northern section of the superstructure were carried out using a post-tensioning system, a totally new construction which has been used for the first time worldwide. The key components of post-tensioning are stranded bundle cables which push the truss bridge fields upwards in a controlled manner, providing the necessary strengthening. The stabilisation of the bridge cross section in the northern section of the bridge superstructure in the vicinity of the pier axes was performed using filigree tension rod systems as bracing systems. Tension rod systems of the nominal size M52 with an average system length of 7 meters were used.  A total of 12 bracing fields were executed using our mconnect system. The design of the diagonally arranged bracing reinforcements used a cross sleeve variant, a bracing design which is becoming increasingly common (low-cost, simple, easy-to-assemble design).

After the similarly spectacular refurbishment of the König Ludwig Bridge, the Fuldatalbrücke at Bergshausen demonstrated yet again the possible use of our tension rod systems in the field of revitalising historic bridge structures, and most certainly this will not be the last bridge structure to be stabilised with mconnect.