Demolition of a bridge crossing German motorway A3

In the last two or three years, all six bridges crossing the German motorway A3 between the junctions “Goldbach” and “Hösbach”, were torn down and replaced by new structures. This was done to give space to a third lane in both directions of the motorway.
The last of the old bridges to fall was the one at the “Bahnhofstraße” at Goldbach, due in the night between 5th and 6th of May, 2001. For that purpose, the A3 was shut down completely between Saturday 6:00 PM and Sunday 6:00 AM.

Beuschlein of Würzburg, Germany, used heavy equipment for this job: a O&K RH8, a new Komatsu PC340LC and a Komatsu PC400LC, all three equipped with concrete cutters (most likely all made by Verachtert).
Additionally a JCB JS 330 XD with a Krupp demolition hammer and two Komatsu PC210LC equipped with hammers too. For “non-demolition-duties”, an older Komatsu PC320LC, a O&K MH6 a Komatsu wheel loader WA420 a tracked loader from Liebherr as well as a Caterpillar motor grader stood by.

Here are pictures from the job:

Before 6:15 PM: Preparations

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5:30 PM: Traffic is still running and only few onlookers are present. Right on time, at 6:00 PM, the lanes leading to Frankfurt are closed. To protect the pavement from debris, a thick layer of sand is used. But first, a protective mat is laid out. The first truckloads of sand are delivered.
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The sand is delivered by a whole fleet of trucks. Among them was a like-new Mercedes Actros. In the meantime, the lanes leading to Würzburg are closed, too and many sightseers have arrived.
Close to the bridge, carefull handling of the trucks is needed.
The demolition equipment had been parked on the median days in advance.

6:15 PM to 7:00 PM: The demolition commences

The supporting elements of the bridge consisted of three longitudinal binding girders. Between the pillars and at some more points, the girders were connected with cross beams. On top of this lay the road-tray, while the pedestrian’s walks stood laterally.

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The excavators are coming … While the walkways are torn down by concrete cutters, the first hammer is attacking a girder.. Meanwhile, all six demolition excavators are working.
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The massive concrete reinforcement of the girders. The machines work their way through thy bridge like dinaurs made from steel. What drivers saw: traffic jam on the by-pass.

7:00 PM to 9:15 PM: The work continues during nightfall

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At girders, first the concrete is removed with the help of hammers then the reeinforcements are cut by shears. The first girder is gone, the second is being worked on. Sightseers are now walking around on the motorway itself.
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The RH8 working on th southern bridge head. Both of the Komatsus PC210LC working together. The concrete reinforcements of the middle girder.
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The JCB excavator at work. Many chunks of concrete are still hanging from the reinforcements. The first pillar on the northern side is falling.

After 9:15 PM

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Around quarter to ten, the last girder falls. First, near the norther bridge heade … …and shortly afterwards everywhere. Once again one of the big concrete cutters. In the background, you can see a motorway white with dust.
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Around 11:00 PM, the remaining debris is crushed further still … … and removed. The debris is and the layer of sand is removed completly.
The fire brigade has cleaned the lanes with water and the road maintenance staff has installed guard rails.