A fleet of 23 Liebherr machines including excavators, wheeled loaders and dump trucks were used for the clean-up work after major blasting of the Salzbach Valley Bridge in Wiesbaden.
Meanwhile, a remote controlled bulldozer from Liebherr was used to carry out the important preparatory work for the bridge demolition job. Because the bridge had been found to be unstable, the contractor decided that the remote control system would be able to keep the dozer operator safe while the machine worked underneath the structure.
The Liebherr Werk Telfs (LWT) facility in Austria that manufactures the firm’s bulldozers was able to fit a Liebherr remote control (LiReCon) system to one of its models. The machine was then operated from a safe distance and used to prepare the ground underneath the bridge, spreading material so as to protect a rail link from damage.
The authorities had planned to replace the Salzbach Valley Bridge, which lay between the Wiesbaden-Biebrich and Wiesbaden-Mainzer Straße junctions. The 50-year-old structure was no longer able to cope with current traffic demands and was coming to the end of its working life. However, the bridge then began to subside to one side and it was realised that it would have to be removed in a controlled demolition operation somewhat sooner than had originally been anticipated.
A specialist team was brought into carry out the works and once the area had been prepared so as to minimise damage, the 304m-long Salzbach Valley Bridge could be demolished safely. The demolition team pre-drilled the structure, placing 220kg of explosives in key areas to ensure its collapse safely. On the 6th November 2021, personnel and equipment were removed to a safe distance and the explosive demolition was carried out successfully, viewed also by numerous locals who had stopped to watch the spectacle.
As soon as the bridge had been demolished, the heavy equipment was brought onto the site to remove the debris. A total of 15,000m3 of demolition material was removed from the site. The blasting had left considerable quantities of oversized material that had to be crushed onsite using processing equipment, with this work taking until the end of November 2021 to complete.
The 23 Liebherr machines: excavators; wheeled loaders; and articulated dump trucks were able to ensure that the clean-up work ran quickly and smoothly.
A total of 18 Liebherr excavators were used and these were the firm’s R 966, R 956, R 954, R 946, R 938 and R 936 models. In addition, the machine fleet included two L 566 Xpower wheeled loaders and three TA230 articulated dump trucks.
The Liebherr crawler excavators were equipped with specialist tools for the project including demolition cutters, sorting grippers and pulverisers, which allow a quick and clean separation of concrete and reinforcing steel. The separated material was then handled using the wheeled loaders, which loaded the material into the three articulated dump trucks for fast and safe removal from the site.
After the removal of the bridge debris had been completed, work was carried out to remove the protection from the rail tracks and also to ensure that the overhead power lines for the railway were functional. This work was competed before the end of December 2021, with trains running once more before Christmas 2021.
Liebherr has a long-standing partnership with Christof Brand, the company that carried out the clearing up work for the Salzbach Valley Bridge. For this purpose, the customer supplemented its own fleet by renting additional machines from Liebherr-Mietpartner. In addition, fitters from the Frankfurt branch of Liebherr-Baumaschinen Vertriebs- und Service worked onsite to ensure that the machinery worked efficiently and maintained high utilisation.