More than 100 bridge experts at state and national level and from all over Germany and Europe are to meet Wednesday in Hamburg’s Catholic Academy for their biennial conference. Talks held under the motto, “Maintaining efficient civil engineering structures – carrying traffic safely” will focus on innovations, experiences with building new structures, damaged structures and maintaining bridges and tunnels.
Hamburg – a city of bridges
The agenda includes many projects in Hamburg such as Europe’s biggest bascule bridge, the Retheklappbrücke in Hamburg port, the replacement build for the Langenfelder bridge, the planned extension of Germany’s longest bridge – the elevated Elbmarsch road (A7 south of the Elbtunnel) as well as the Süderelbbrücke and strengthening the bridge on Stader road over the A7.
Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator for Economics, said: “Maintaining and refurbishing bridges in Hamburg is of fundamental importance. Therefore, I am pleased that we are hosting this year’s conference. During the coming years, many constructions have to be statically examined and overhauled so that they can withstand the increasing loads.”
Investments in maintaining bridges
Over 40,000 structures on Germany’s motorways and federal roads require constant maintenance. Their age and especially the rapidly increasing truck traffic are taking a toll on bridges. Hamburg has 2,500 bridges, of which 1,150 are owned by the city and 300 are German national property. More investments in long-term maintenance are needed and the city’s 2016 budget has set aside around EUR 16 million with another EUR 40 million coming from the German government. Around 100 employees in land offices are responsible for streets, bridges and waters near civil engineering structures in Hamburg.
Authorities and civil engineering firms also need more young engineers to work in this exciting sector and have set up an association called “Bauingenieure für Hamburg” (Civil Engineers for Hamburg) for this purpose. For more information, see: www.bauingenieure-hamburg.info.
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