Conceptual Design of Wolbecker Road Bridge No. 76 in Münster, Germany

Customer Project

Investor Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Rheine, Germany
Architect DISSING+WEITLING architecture, Copenhagen, Denmark
Building and Structural Planning grbv Ingenieure im Bauwesen GmbH & Co. KG, Hanover, Germany

Starting in 2018, an architecturally appealing tied‑arch bridge will arise in Münster, Germany. The new road bridge will be built over the Dortmund‑Ems Canal with a span of 220.5 ft. It will replace the existing classic arch bridge, built in 1957, which is 16.4 ft less in span length.

The Wolbecker road bridge No. 76 is a part of the infrastructure project “Extension of the Dortmund-Ems Canal.” In addition to the clearance width extension, the clearance height of the new bridge will also be increased for the shipping traffic. As a result of broadening the canal section, the waterway can be used in the future by more efficient ships, running at a reasonable speed.

In cooperation with the design and architectural office Dissing + Weitling from Copenhagen, the Dlubal Software customer grbv Ingenieure im Bauwesen GmbH & Co. KG from Hanover carried out the preliminary and conceptual design for the upcoming replacement construction.

Structure and Design

After considering several variants, the design of the “hyperbolic arch with orthotropic roadway slab” has been accepted.

The freestanding hyperbolic arches are round tubes with d = 28 in. The arch rise is 50.85 ft. As all other components of the superstructure, the steel material of the grade S 355 J2+N is used. The only exception are the fan-shaped round steel hangers with d = 2,75 in and the steel grade of S 460 NL.

The loads on the bridge deck are transferred to the pipe bends by the hanger. The reinforcing girders act as tension chords to absorb the bow thrust (“bowstring-girder bridge”).

In the course of the very detailed design, the arch bridge was modeled as a spatial beam structure in RSTAB. Then, Load Model 1 has been analyzed according to DIN EN 1991‑2 (αQ1 = 1.0) with the German National Annex.

The new Wolbecker road bridge is an extraordinary bridge structure, which is different from the conventional tied‑arch bridges.

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