12 July 2018
A Dutch-German consortium relies on plastics specialist Bolidt from Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht (the Netherlands) for the renovation of the German Rheinbrücke Maxau bridge. The bridge will be reinforced with the 'high strength concrete' concept, for which Bolidt will provide the nearly 300-metre long cable bridge with an adhesive wearing course developed in-house. This adhesive wearing course makes a crucial contribution to this concept.
The bridge deck specialist will start work in the fall of 2018. The entire renovation is due to be completed in the summer of 2019.
An estimated total of over 80 German steel bridges are in need of renovation, partly due to the fatigue of the steel structure. In most cases these are major arteries, which means that there is actually no time or opportunity to close these bridges for a long time, while in many cases renovation is necessary. The Dutch-German consortium responsible for the Rheinbrücke Maxau bridge will solve this problem by using Bolidt material that has a shorter turnaround time than, for example, asphalt. This saves valuable time, which means the bridge is back in operation sooner. It is also many times more wear-resistant compared to asphalt and safer for traffic in all weather conditions. This approach can serve as an example for the dozens of other German steel bridges that are facing the same problem.
Bolidt will be carrying out the renovation together with construction parties Leonard Weiss Bauunternehmung and Strukton International. The renovation is divided into two phases of half a year each, with traffic being spared as much as possible.
One of the characteristics of the quality of the material used, Boligrip®, is that it does not deform plastically, whereas asphalt tends to 'curl up' during braking and acceleration.
For the application of the new adhesive wearing course, Bolidt uses the Bolimix machine, a machine that the company developed especially for the application of the Boligrip® systems to bridges. The Bolimix machine can apply more than 10,000 square metres of plastic adhesive wearing course per day. This means that four days spread over six months are sufficient to provide the entire Rheinbrücke Maxau bridge with its new adhesive wearing course. Depending on factors such as the temperature on the days in question, Bolidt's technical team, including laboratory technicians and mechanical engineers, will ensure that the material is applied in a constant layer thickness. For optimum results, the work will be carried out in a conditioned tent, under the supervision of Bolidt's technical team.
'This jobs already tastes like more, because many more German bridges are begging for renovation', says Peter Staal, Parking & Infra Specialist at Bolidt. It is estimated that at least eighty steel bridges in Germany require reinforcement due to fatigue of the steel sheets. The application of the Boligrip® adhesive wearing course is an important part of this reinforcement. The fact that almost 72,000 vehicles cross the Rheinbrücke Maxau bridge every day does not worry Staal in the least. 'The quality of the material has been demonstrated repeatedly on bridges all over the world. We have specialised application teams that ensure that the optimum result is achieved.'
Both close to home and far overseas, Boligrip® has been very popular as an adhesive wearing course on bridges and roads for years. Various Dutch bridges, including the Galecopperbrug and the Erasmusbrug, have been provided with this material. Boligrip® has been in service on the Moerdijk Bridge for more than ten years now. Bolidt is familiar with bridges in general all over the world: The company took care of the West Gate Bridge in Australia and the Auckland Harbour Bridge in New Zealand. With the order for the Rheinbrücke Maxau bridge, the company is now also establishing a foothold in the German market.
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