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Anybody who assumes the use of single-gap expansion joints should always be straightforward never worked on a project like this! Although single-gap joints such as TENSA®GRIP Type RS are generally easier to design, fabricate and install than various other types of expansion joint, every project presents its own challenges – as demonstrated by this renovation project in Switzerland’s biggest city.
The Zollbrücke, or Customs Bridge, is located in the heart of Zurich, right next to the city’s main train station, where it carries a road, twin tram tracks, cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways across the river that flows under the train station. In the course of planning a recent project to renew the tram tracks in that area, the city authorities decided to use the opportunity to also replace the single-gap expansion joints (each over 35 m long) at both ends of the bridge. Although this was sensible and beneficial considering such factors as traffic disruption, traffic management measures, site mobilisation effort and economies of scale, the substantial challenges relating to the expansion joints’ design, manufacture and installation remained. These included, in particular:
designing and detailing the more modern expansion joints to precisely suit the complex geometry of the existing joints and their connecting structures, with suitable connections at all points;
allowing for the passage of the tram tracks and various service pipes/cables through the expansion joint, while still maintaining watertightness;
installation of each expansion joint in six stages to suit traffic management, with short sections of joint welded to previously installed sections and subsequent insertion of the continuous rubber sealing profiles;
dealing with the challenges of working next to live tram and street traffic or on temporarily closed tram tracks, with all the associated safety implications;
ensuring absolute adherence to a tight overall schedule and very limited track and road closures (sometimes at night);
and even replacing one section of joint underneath a wall.
These challenges are somewhat illustrated by the attached photographs, but not in a way that could ever do justice to the special efforts and capabilities required by a project like this. But that is what mageba is there for, always happy to play a small role in helping the communities we serve function more efficiently, more reliably, better.
Contractor: Tiefbauamt Stadt Zürich / Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich
Owner: Tiefbauamt Stadt Zürich