The largest rail bascule bridge in Europe is open to traffic
The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) has officially opened the new 104-meter-wide Rethe rail bascule bridge to traffic with a symbolic first train ride8 Jan 2018 Michael Triadan
As one of the most significant infrastructure projects in the Port of Hamburg , the new construction is replacing the Rethe lift bridge from 1934. The structure for cars was already opened in 2016 (originally scheduled to be completed in 2011), but train traffic was delayed because of problems with the rail track joint. Moreover, the construction project was heavily criticized by the State Court of Audit since the original estimate of 95 million euros was exceeded and the final cost ended up being 175 million euros.
The permanent separation of vehicle and rail traffic (each of the bridges weighs around 2800 tons) ensures that cars and trucks will no longer have long waiting times. In addition to land-based traffic, the dismantling of the old lift bridge will also significantly relieve shipping traffic: Instead of the previous 44 meters, the fairway width will be 64 meters in future and the height restriction for ship traffic will no longer apply. As a result of the separation of road and rail, both modes of transport will no longer hinder each other in the future and noticeably fewer traffic jams are expected on the roads in the port.
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