Railway-Bridge Hochdonn - Germany
Lowering of the old steel structure 40m Lifting of the new structure, Tilting operations

Scope of works performed

Lowering by 40 m on a swimming dock of the old steel structure (length of 121.10 m, weight of 1,465 t)

Lifting of the new structure with same length and weight

Tilting operations to pass through existing supports by a combination of horizontal and vertical movements


Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau- und Wohnungswesen, Wasser- und Schifffahrtsdirektion Nord

Engineering + Main Contractor

Krupp Stahlbau Hannover

Engineering Consultant

Prof. Sedlacek & Partner

VSL Entity

VSL Heavy Lifting



Project Description

VSL Heavy Lifting removed the old center part of the historical bridge and lifted the new bridge in its place, saving existing supports.

On the 1th of June 1920 the historical train bridge, crossing the Kiel Canal near Hochdonn, was opened. Ever since it is connecting the city of Hamburg with  Sylt, an island in the North Sea. General deterioration of the main span and damages caused by two ship collisions were responsible for the necessary replacement of the center part of the bridge. Reusing the existing support points of the main span for the new part the old 122m long span had to be passed through the clear gap of only 120m bwetween supports. This daring feat was realized by installing two special portal frames  near the support axes.

Each frame was held back and adjusted to the required inclination by two VSL strand units SMU 220/550. Another two strand units SMU 330/550  placed vertically at the platforms and suspended in the upper part of the frame, allowed hooking up the span in 4 points.  This configuration allowed  to move the suspended span by about 2m longitudinally and to incline it, permitting to lower the span through the bottleneck between supports.

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