Dillinger steel for a bridge of superlatives

Higher, faster, wider: the new Botlek bridge in Rotterdam

(PresseBox) ( Dillingen/Saar, )
The recently opened Botlek bridge over the Oude Maas river at the port of Rotterdam is a project of superlatives in many respects. The combined railway and roadway bridge has replaced the old Botlek bridge as part of a large-scale modernization of the A 15 highway from Maasvlakte to Vaanplein in the Netherlands.

The new Botlek bridge is Europe's largest vertical-lift bridge and is among the biggest in the world: At 1,243 meters long, it is constructed of oval armored-concrete towers that are 64 meters high as well as steel superstructures that weigh 4,850 tons, span 92 meters each and are roughly 50 meters wide. With a lifting capacity of 10,000 tons - equal to the weight of the Eifel Tower - the imposing double-lift bridge also moves the largest mass in the world. It features the highest lift frequency and speed: About once an hour it will be lifted or lowered 30 meters in less than 100 seconds, which adds up to 9,000 openings per year.

Superlative when it comes to the dimensions, the functionality - and the demands placed on the steel: Because the lift bridge is expected to perform 900,000 lift cycles over its 100-year life span and will therefore have to withstand twice as much stress as is typical in the sector, extremely high standards were required of all materials and welding technologies used. Dillinger Hütte supplied around 9,000 tons of heavy plate steel for both the steel superstructures and the guide rails for the lifting gear. To reduce weight, thermomechanically rolled steel with high weldability properties was primarily used.
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