In 1969, the Giulini Bridge was built in the city of Ludwigshafen as a seven-span prestressed concrete structure. Two separate superstructures form the 240 m long bridge which is part of federal highway 44.
It spans over two railway lines and several inner city traffic routes. Over 32,000 vehicles, significantly more than planned in 1969, now use the bridge every day. Around 10% of them are heavy goods vehicles. Recent surveys have shown the 52 year old structure cannot withstand present traffic loads and that there was an urgent need for action with regard to stability and usability.
In order to upgrade the bridge and to remedy the defects, 32 additional steel support structures were used to reinforce and relieve the load. These were installed as intermediate supports on new foundations or arranged as additional supports onto existing foundations over reinforced concrete bases.
The steel pillars, which weighed a total of 54 tonnes, were protected from corrosion by hot dip galvanizing. This means that long-term maintenance work can be excluded. Hot dip galvanized steel is increasingly being used both for new bridges and for upgrading existing structures due to its cheaper initial costs and because of its durability, resulting in little to no maintenance and subsequent resource usage.
The additional supports ensure that the Giulini Bridge continues to operate for decades to come.