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Groundbreaking ceremony for the extension of the U5

21.09.2017 | 20:32 Clock | Citywhispers
Groundbreaking ceremony for the extension of the U5

City railway to the Europaviertel

(kus) On Thursday, 21. September, Frankfurt's Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann, Hesse's Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Energy, Transport and Regional Development, Tarek Al-Wazir, the Managing Director of Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt (VGF), Michael Rüffer, and SBEV's Managing Directors, Wendelin Friedel and Florian Habersack, held a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony for the extension of the U5 light rail line in Europa-Allee.

"With today's groundbreaking ceremony, we are reaching an important milestone in this major inner-city infrastructure project. The start of the connection of the Europaviertel to the local public transport system has thus been made," said a delighted Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann.

VGF Managing Director Michael Rüffer added: "The expansion of the rail network as part of the city's transport infrastructure is extremely important to guarantee and even improve the mobility of residents for the future. This is all the more true as Frankfurt is a fast-growing city with rapid development. Public transport must keep pace with this development, which will be a major challenge for VGF for years to come."

The ambitious construction is in the hands of a joint venture (ARGE): the ARGE U5 Europaviertel, consisting of PORR Deutschland GmbH and the company Stump Spezialtiefbau GmbH. It is responsible for the shell of the underground station and the construction of the underground section. This comprises the tunnel east of the "Güterplatz" station to Platz der Republik, which is being dug using a tunnel boring machine, and - to the west - the section between the launch pit and the Emser Bridge including the ramp structure. Here, the work will be carried out using the cut-and-cover method, i.e. in large pits.

The work will begin at the level of Stockholmer Straße with the construction of the walls for the launch pit, from which the tunnel boring machine will start its advance towards Platz der Republik in 2018. These walls will be constructed using the so-called diaphragm wall method. The area up to the Emser Bridge will serve as a storage and transport area before the tunnel and ramp are built there using the cut-and-cover method. The entire shell construction work will take about five years.

In the area of the future underground station "Güterplatz", the walls of the excavation pit are also being built. Only after both tunnel tubes have been completed in the shell - in the language of the miners one speaks of "driving up" - can the excavation pit of the station be dug. As things stand at present, the excavation of the two tunnel tubes will take about twelve months. Added to this is the time needed to assemble the tunnel boring machine and withdraw it from the first tube and move it to the second, as the two tunnels will be bored one after the other.

Construction work on the above-ground section of the line is scheduled to begin in 2020, including the extension of the tunnel under the Europagarten, the shell of which has already been completed. The commissioning of the four new stations with the U5 is planned for the end of 2022.

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