Baakenbrücken
Raising and repair of old bridges
Hamburg, HafenCity

  • Client:
    Hafencity Hamburg GmbH
  • Railway bridge (built 1903) 
    and 2 road bridges 
    (built 1930 and 1983, resp.)
  • Raising above storm tide levels
  • Complete refurbishment of steel constructions, new pavements, conversion of the railway bridge into a pedestrian bridge
  • Spans: 2 x 46 metres
  • Time: 2005 - 2006
    Building costs: c. 5 mill. EUR
  • Our scope: 
    civil and structural engineering, preparation of tender documents, site management

New paths on old bridges.

Hamburg’s HafenCity is an exciting interface between land and water. As part of the flood protection work for HafenCity, the Baakenbrücken – three steel bridges crossing side by side over the basin of Magdeburger Hafen – had to be raised by c. 2 metres. 

The railway bridge and the southern road bridge were built in 1930. The northern road bridge was added in 1983. The raising operation was carried out in two phases. Firstly, the two older bridges were lifted by a floating crane. Existing quay walls were demolished and replaced by new abutments on deep foundations behind a sheet pile wall. Meanwhile, both bridges were repaired. They were then reinstated in their raised position. 

In a second phase, the northern road bridge was lifted in its position. The abutments were raised, and the bridge was then set down onto the heightened and strengthened abutments. 

Flood-protected and fit for at least another sixty years. The historic bridges - henceforth renamed "Magdeburger Brücke" - can now meet the new demands of HafenCity while at the same time remaining as witnesses to the harbour’s history. Old bridges forge new paths.