Genesis shears enable cost effective demolition of German viaduct

Published 27/12, 2019 at 17:59

Wende Erdbau is a specialist in earthworks, demolition and recycling, being based in Fulda in Hesse, Germany.

Operating since 1947, the company and its current 70 strong workforce are at present demolishing the Langenschwarz Viaduct on the A7 federal motorway. The structure was built in 1967 and is now no longer able to cope with today’s traffic loads, requiring replacement by 2021. The western section of the structure (travelling from Kassel to Würzburg) is being completely demolished, including its superstructure, pylons, foundations and abutments. During the first phase of work Sebastian Wess, managing director of Wende, explained the challenges that the company will be facing during the project: “We need to remove a total of around 20,000t of reinforced concrete. The crushed and processed concrete has already been firmly incorporated into our operational material logistics plans. The scheduling is also tight because the new bridge is already being built while the old one is being demolished.”

The 35m high bridge (at its highest point), required a supporting scaffold be erected specifically for the demolition of the super structure.  A 30t excavator equipped with   Genesis GDT 290 demolition shears is used to deal with the box girder and then sorting the materials into the steel and concrete piles which will then be cut using Genesis GXT 225 R scrap shears. A 35t long front excavator will then start demolishing the bridge pylons that have been exposed following the removal of the bridge sections. A 40t excavator equipped with a shorter arm and delivering more hydraulic power will then be used to speed up progress on the last five vertical metres down to the foundations.

“The high art of demolishing a bridge structure is all based on proceeding rationally. We’re breaking new ground with this demolition project and have equipped ourselves specifically to this end,” says Sebastian. In addition to the usual attachments, such as hammers and grabs, the 30t long front excavators have been fitted with GDT 290 demolition shears (2,940kg) while the GDT 390 shears (4,170kg) have been installed on the 40t excavator. All have been supplied by Bischoff Baumaschinen GmbH, which is an authorised Genesis dealer. “The equipment possesses a heavy duty and high quality, while very slim design,” says Sebastian Wess. “It allows the wearing parts to be replaced quickly. These shears enable us to make rapid progress while maintaining high operational safety and low wearing costs.”

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