Autobahn renovation

2023 saw the completion of a three-year highway renovation project in Switzerland for which mageba replaced or renovated the structural bearings and expansion joints of numerous bridge structures.

The Swiss national highways authority (ASTRA) is known for its continuous investments in the country’s autobahn network, keeping it in good condition and increasing capacity as required – in 2023, for example, with a budget of 2.8 billion Swiss francs (approx. USD 3.1 billion). A typical current example of the authority’s work is the complete renovation of a nine-kilometre stretch of Switzerland’s A1 autobahn where it bypasses the city of St. Gallen. The rehabilitation of the various bridge structures along this section of the motorway required not only the renovation of several TENSA®FINGER sliding-finger expansion joints (type GF) and over 100 existing bearings of various types, but also the design and supply of numerous replacement bearings and expansion joints to suit the existing structures – including RESTON®FORCE horizontal force bearings, TENSA®GRIP (type RS-LS) noise-reduced single-gap joints, TENSA®FINGER (type RSFD) cantilever finger joints and TENSA®MODULAR joints. The modular joints were designed for installation by the “box-in-box” method in order to help minimise impacts on the structure and on traffic. Impacts on traffic were further reduced by the use of mageba’s removable Mini-Fly-Over system, which enables traffic to pass over an expansion joint’s installation location when required (typically during busy daytime hours) while permitting work to progress during nighttime or weekend lane closures.

With the existing bearings and expansion joints renovated as required, and the replacement bearings and joints designed, fabricated and installed, this section of Switzerland’s autobahn network has now been equipped with components of the high quality demanded by ASTRA’s investment programme.

Engineer: Gruner AG / Rothpletz, Lienhard + Cie AG
Contractor: ARGE Stadtautobahn
Owner: Switzerland’s Bundesamt für Strassen (ASTRA)

Over the last three years, mageba has been supporting the renovation of a nine-kilometre stretch of Switzerland’s A1 autobahn where it bypasses the city of St. Gallen

As well as designing and supplying a number of replacement RESTON®FORCE bearings and installing them in various structures, mageba also renovated over 100 existing bearings

The new expansion joints supplied and installed to replace existing joints included several of the TENSA®MODULAR type

The TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints were designed for installation by the “box-in-box” method in order to minimise impacts on the structure and on traffic

The project scope also included the design, supply and installation of 15 TENSA®GRIP (type RS-LS) noise-reduced single-gap expansion joints to replace existing small-movement joints

The use of the Mini-Fly-Over system enabled the expansion joint removal and installation work to be carried out in a number of night shifts while facilitating the passage of traffic during daytime

The Mini-Fly-Over system essentially consists of removable steel plates that together form a simple finger-type expansion joint – above the level of the permanent expansion joint

When installed at the end of each nighttime work shift, the Mini-Fly-Over system enabled traffic to pass over each expansion joint installation location during the daytime as required

At the start of each night shift, with traffic rerouted as necessary, the Mini-Fly-Over system was removed to allow work to progress – e.g. to lift new expansion joints into prepared recesses

Lifting into position of a new TENSA®FINGER (type RSFD) cantilever finger joint during a nighttime closure of this part of the structure to traffic

Preparation for final deck surfacing work following the installation of a complex expansion joint arrangement and the final removal of the Mini-Fly-Over system that facilitated the installation work