Genesis Shears Enable Cost-effective Demolition of Viaduct

Published: 22/1

The Langenschwarz Viaduct located on the A7 federal motorway, near Fulda, is being replaced. Wende, the company tasked with taking down the 1,070-ft (326m) structure, has used robust excavator attachments from Genesis for the job. Wende Erdbau is a specialist in earthworks, demolition and recycling, being based in Fulda in Hesse, Germany. Operating since 1947, the company and its current 70 strong workforce are at present demolishing the Langenschwarz Viaduct on the A7 federal motorway. The structure was built in 1967 and is now no longer able to cope with today’s traffic loads, requiring replacement by 2021. The western section of the structure is being completely demolished, including its superstructure, pylons, foundations and abutments.

“We need to remove a total of around 20,000 tons of reinforced concrete,” explains Wende managing director Sebastian Wess. “The crushed and processed concrete has already been firmly incorporated into our operational material logistics plans. The scheduling is also tight because the new bridge is already being built while the old one is being demolished.”

The 115-ft (35m) high bridge required a supporting scaffold be erected specifically for the demolition of the super structure. A 30t excavator equipped with Genesis GDT 290 demolition shears will deal with the box girder, then sort the materials into the steel and concrete piles to be cut using Genesis GXT 225 R scrap shears. A 35t long-front excavator will then start demolishing the bridge pylons that have been exposed following the removal of the bridge sections. A 40t excavator equipped with a shorter arm and delivering more hydraulic power will then be used to speed up progress on the last 16 ft (5m) down to the foundations.

“The high art of demolishing a bridge structure is all based on proceeding rationally,” Wess says. “We’re breaking new ground with this demolition project and have equipped ourselves specifically to this end.”

In addition to the usual attachments, such as hammers and grabs, the 30t long front excavators have been fitted with 6,482-lb (2,940kg) GDT 290 demolition shears, while the 9,193-lb (4,170kg) GDT 390 shears have been installed on the 40t excavator. All have been supplied by Bischoff Baumaschinen GmbH, which is an authorized Genesis dealer.

“The equipment possesses a heavy duty and high quality, while very slim design,” says Wess. “It allows the wearing parts to be replaced quickly. These shears enable us to make rapid progress while maintaining high operational safety and low wearing costs.”

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