New German bridge - cost increase

An important new German bridge is seeing a cost increase.
Road Structures / September 5, 2022 45 seconds Read
By MJ Woof
The new Schiersteiner Bridge connecting Mainz and Wiesbaden will be more costly than originally project – image courtesy of © Gary Hider | Dreamstime.com

The cost of construction for the new Schiersteiner bridge connecting Wiesbaden and Mainz will be higher than originally estimated. The project is being managed by Autobahn, the German highway company.

When the project was first considered, the bridge was expected to cost €216 million. However, the bridge is now expected to come with a final pricetag of €250 million. The new bridge has far greater capacity than the old structure, allowing it to carry more traffic. This will reduce delays.

Work on the old bridge commenced in 1959 and it opened to traffic in 1962. However, the concrete structure aged over time and it also had to cope with far heavier traffic volumes than it was ever designed for. Originally it was designed to handle around 23,000 vehicles/day and actually handled around 70,000/day. But in more recent times it handled 80,000 vehicles/day. Note also that current vehicles are heavier than those of when it was designed, particularly with large trucks weighing up to 44tonnes rather than the 20tonnes of the time. The old bridge was unable to cope and had to be demolished.

In 1995 the extent of the damage to the structure was revealed. Repairs were carried out a number of times but it was realised that the bridge would eventually have to be replaced. It has been closed a number of times and speed limits were introduced to extend its life until its replacement could be built.