The ailing A45 viaduct Rahmede in NRW has collapsed. The nationwide blasting of the concrete giant took place today. The Federal Transport Minister watched the spectacle up close.
The dilapidated Rahmede Viaduct on the A45 in North Rhine-Westphalia was blown up in Lüdenscheid on Sunday. The 17,000 ton and up to 70 meter high structure on the autobahn, which is important throughout Germany, fell onto a huge fall bed.
Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) and his NRW colleague Oliver Krischer (Greens) followed the spectacular action on site. The bridge has been completely closed for 17 months – with serious consequences. It has also become a political issue and a symbol for the ailing infrastructure in many places in Germany.
Demolitionist Michael Schneider detonated the explosive charge at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Around 150 kilograms of explosives brought down the bridge pillars. The 450 meter long structure fell to the ground. “It couldn’t have gone better,” said Schneider on WDR television. The development directly below the valley bridge made the blasting on one of the most well-known construction sites in Germany particularly difficult.
According to the Federal Ministry of Transport, the blasting demolition means a “milestone” on the way to a new building as soon as possible. The project is high on the priority list.
The important Dortmund – Frankfurt traffic axis has been interrupted since the bridge was closed on December 2, 2021. The surrounding region, which is also economically important, has been hit hard by traffic jams, noise and exhaust emissions, stagnant delivery traffic, the emigration of skilled workers and a drop in sales.
In Lüdenscheid, citizens were able to follow the blast in a public viewing in the city center. WDR also showed the action live.
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