The shocking demolition of a 17,000-ton bridge in Germany

The German authorities carried out the controlled blasting of the Rahmede bridge (west of the country), from 450 meters long and up to 70 highwith some 17,000 tons in weight, part of the A45 motorway and closed to traffic since December 2021 due to its poor condition.

The operation was consummated on Sunday as scheduled at 10:00 GMT on the dot, in the midst of a notable media display and broadcast live on two national news television channels -the public Tageschau24 and the private NTV-, in addition to the regional chain WDR.

for the flyer 150 kilos of explosives were useddistributed among 2,035 holes drilled mainly in its four main pillars, according to the instructions of the expert Michael Schneider.

Bridge blasting sequence (AFP) (INA FASSBENDER /)

The controlled explosion was preceded by a series of warning shotsas well as a last high school, 30 seconds before the final, while the television cameras followed Schneider’s movements.

The Minister of Transport, the Liberal Volker Wissing, attended the operation, who has guaranteed that the construction of a new viaduct to replace it is a priority project for his government, after 17 months of traffic interruption by a national highway of great relevance for road transport.

The region that surrounds that section of the highway has been affected by traffic diversions to adjacent roads during all this time, among complaints of problems in the transport of goods, pollution and noise by the affected populations.

The A45 runs between the populous “Land” of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous in the country, with some 50 urban centers and crossed by the largest highway junction in the country, and the neighboring state of Saarland, bordering France.

The controlled demolition concentrated not only the expectation of the media, but also of residents of the region, for whom a kind of live transmission about 300 meters away in the town of Lüdenscheid.

Hundreds of people came to see the spectacular moment of the dmeolición (Reuters)
Hundreds of people came to see the spectacular moment of the dmeolición (Reuters) (LEON KUEGELER /)

The expert Schneider’s plan was fulfilled to the millimeter and the bridge section collapsed cleanly onto the planned bed, in a great cloud of dust and concrete.

Thus, the phrase “Lasst uns Brücken bauen” -“Let’s build bridges”-, painted in broad strokes on the asphalt of the viaduct, as a reflection of the expectations of the population and carriers that the new bridge is built, disappeared.

(With information from EFE)

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