The Autobahn GmbH is still aiming for “mid-October” as the date for the demolition of the ailing Salzbachtalbrücke near Wiesbaden, but the uncertainties that the deadline has to be kept are increasing.

The emergency stabilization of the southern bridge structure through the introduction of shotcrete has not yet been completed, although the bridge abutment and the neighboring pillar of the particularly badly damaged pillar "E" were also treated in this way.

Oliver Bock

Correspondent for the Rhein-Main-Zeitung for the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis and for Wiesbaden.

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Over the next few days, iron “reinforcements” weighing 6.5 tonnes and 50 centimeters thick will be attached to the north and south sides of the structure, which will be sprayed with concrete.

However, according to Matthias Achauer from Autobahn GmbH, it is not yet entirely clear how this can be done technically on the north side.

An excavator will probably have to be equipped with a special tool.

After all, it is now "impossible that the bridge comes down".

The shotcrete has to harden for seven to ten days before it has reached the necessary strength.

Information meeting for residents

A full eight weeks have now been estimated for securing the infrastructure, i.e. the sewage treatment plant, the tracks and the B263. The railway is still considering dismantling tracks and lines. At the same time, a group of four experts will look for the cause of the damage. According to Achauer, a demolition will only be considered when the report is “final”, because “the evidence will be destroyed” with the demolition of the bridge.

Nevertheless, there is still talk of the blasting date in mid-October with the restriction that the securing work must be fully completed. According to Autobahn GmbH, earlier dates are out of the question because of the “environment of the Bundestag election” and the celebrations on October 3rd. For the residents of the building, there should be an initial information meeting shortly with a view to the approaching blast and the corresponding precautions.