The Rahmede Viaduct on Autobahn 45 in North Rhine-Westphalia will be blown up in Lüdenscheid on Sunday. The structure, which is up to 70 meters high and weighs 17,000 tons, is expected to fall into a gigantic fall bed at noon (12:00 p.m.).
Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) and North Rhine-Westphalia Transport Minister Oliver Krischer (Greens) want to follow the spectacular action on site at one of the most well-known construction sites in Germany. A successful demolition of the blasting is of central importance for a planned new building as soon as possible.
The bridge on the important north-south axis between Frankfurt and Dortmund has been interrupted since the end of 2021. For the past 17 months, people in the city of Lüdenscheid and the region have been suffering from traffic jams, noise and exhaust emissions, slow delivery traffic, a emigration of skilled workers and a drop in sales.
Around 150 kilograms of explosives are now supposed to bring down the 450 meter long structure from the 1960s. The demolition expert had emphasized in advance that the bridge had to come down "exactly". Because of the development directly below the bridge, the action is extremely challenging. The preparations have been underway for a long time. Construction machines had brought a good 100,000 cubic meters of earth for the drop bed.
The disaster surrounding the dilapidated bridge is also a political issue - and has become a symbol for the desolate condition of the transport infrastructure in many places. According to the Federal Ministry of Transport, around 4,500 bridges have to be renovated in Germany. The new Rahmede building is currently one of the top projects in Germany.
A committee of inquiry has just started its work in the Düsseldorf state parliament. He should provide clarification in the Rahmede debacle. The opposition also wants to shed light on the role of Hendrik Wüst (CDU), who was Minister of Transport in North Rhine-Westphalia before becoming Prime Minister.