Building Bridges


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The Oberbaumbrücke was constructed over the River Spree in 1724 as a wooden bridge. For centuries it was by far the longest bridge in Berlin. In 1894 it was renewed as a solid construction with seven vaults and a studded viaduct to accommodate the first elevated railway in Berlin. Because of its location in the border area between West and East Berlin, the bridge which was blown up during World War II could not be reinstated until after reunification as a link between the districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. More extensive refurbishment of its historical appearance involved upgrading the road surface by using reinforced and pre-stressed concrete. The elevated railway was given a completely new load bearing construction. The middle opening was closed as a counter point to the form with a modern steel frame whereas in the side areas preflex supports on steel frames were incorporated into the viaduct. After specification of the definitive design, construction work could begin in 1992. In order to accelerate work, a temporary pedestrian bridge was erected downstream.

In time for the fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall the roadway and the lower side walkway were reopened on 9 November 1994. With the integration of the strutted frame in April 1995, the last gap was closed in the elevated railway connection to the station Warschauer Straße to the north of Oberbaumbrücke. This meant that the route extension could be used as planned in October 1995.


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