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Budapest Central

A set of bridges across the Danube in the heart of Budapest will all depend on mageba bearings and expansion joints when the renovation of two final structures has been completed.

A critical traffic artery across the River Danube in central Budapest consists of a steel girder road bridge and, right next to it, a set of three truss-type railway structures. The railway structures are known collectively as the Southern Railway Bridge, which carries the city’s busiest railway lines and the majority of the country’s rail traffic. The road bridge, known as the Rákóczi Bridge, was renovated in 2015 using TENSA®POLYFLEX®ADVANCED plug expansion joints, and the two old railway structures alongside it are now being renovated. Along with the third one, which has just been constructed, all three railway structures will have RESTON® SPHERICAL bearings supporting their superstructures when the work is completed.

In the course of the current railway bridge refurbishment works, which started in 2020, the superstructures of the two old truss bridges are being demolished, enabling new steel superstructures to be placed on the original piers, which must be adapted to suit their design. The third railway structure, newly constructed between the older ones and the existing road bridge to increase rail capacity, has already been completed and subjected to full load testing earlier this year. In total, 42 RESTON® SPHERICAL bearings have been manufactured for the three railway structures, 14 for each. They were designed with vertical load capacities of up to 15,500 kN and with an unusual “upside-down” orientation to optimise load transfer between superstructure and substructure. They were fabricated at mageba’s Hungarian production facility, where each bearing was additionally fitted with two load-measuring sensors to support inspection and maintenance work in the future – one serving as a back-up for the other to ensure continuity of service. To ensure proper functioning, all sensors were tested and calibrated before leaving the factory. Finally, following completion of all design, fabrication and testing works, mageba is also responsible for delivering the bearings to site and installing them in the structures. The installation work will also include 57 displacement sensors, positioned near the new bearings after these have all been installed, to help monitor their longitudinal and transverse movements.

The project is not the first Hungarian railway bridge refurbishment project mageba has supported over the years, with recent projects including the Kiskörei Tisza Bridge in 2018, which was renovated using TENSA®FINGER cantilever finger joints. So whether bearings or expansion joints, and whether road or railway bridges, we have the experience to meet your project’s needs – whether in the heart of your capital city or anywhere else across the country!

Structural engineer: Főmterv Zrt., MSC Kft. and Speciálterv Kft.
Contractor: Duna Aszfalt Kft.
Owner: Nemzeti Infrastruktúra Fejlesztő Zrt.

View of the steel girder road bridge and the three truss-type railway structures alongside it, in the centre of Budapest

(© Magyar Építők)

Load tests have already been performed on the new railway structure

(© Magyar Építők)

Some of the RESTON® SHERICAL bearings after assembly at mageba’s Hungarian production facility

Testing of a RESTON®SPHERICAL bearing after completion of manufacturing

Installation of a displacement measuring sensor close to one of the bearings