More than 42 km long is the world’s longest road bridge, the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge in the Chinese province Shandong. This marathon bridge required from Maurer Soehne marathon committment. After intensive negotiations, this contract resulted in the biggest individual contract for Maurer Soehne in the history of the market leader – produced in a record time of 5 months at the headquarters in Munich.
The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge connects over a bay the city of Qingdao with Huangdao and the airport Qingdao-Liuting. Qingdao was a former German colony and in 2008 the location of the sailing competition of the Olympic Games in Beijing. The world's longest road bridge was completed in December 2010, and official inauguration and opening for traffic was May 1st 2011.
Life time and corrosion protection
In China, marathon endurance is expected of all contractors and subcontracts, even mixed with sudden sprint capacities, whereby conditions may vary from province to province. "In Shandong, the owner of the bridge placed a high emphasis on the quality of the expansion joints. Which ultimately made the deciding difference, so that we were awarded the contract", reports project manager Wolfgang Fobo. Maurer Söhne is world market leader for expansion joints, but this contract even posed a major challenge for the number one in this branch. For this prestigious project the bridge owner accepted no compromise, so next to the 40 years of minimum service life of the expansion joints, a certain manufacturing capacity and adaptability to the conditions in China was the deciding factor for the award of this contract.
So the true challenge for Maurer started only with the signature under the contract: the production time of 8 months was already putting Maurer to their limits – but was again shortened by another 3 months. So was the inauguration date of the bridge shortened by 1 month, and the start of manufacturing was postponed by 2 months, owed to the complex competitive situation – all wanted to have their share.
This is one of the indispensable requirements for any market player in China, to react flexibly to the customer's requirements and serve the customer's interest, even if it is not covered by the contract. Without a corresponding manufacturing capacity, such large orders cannot be handled flexibly.
"By way of mobilizing all available production resources we could complete manufacturing in only 5 months", project manager Wolfgang Fobo states in the light of the official inauguration of the bridge on May 1st.
3,359 m of expansion joints
The Qingdao-Haiwan Bridge displays a total of 3,359 m of expansion joints. Most of them are three and four seal joints of a movement capacity of up to 320 mm. At the central suspension bridge, expansion joints of 10 seals and 14 seals were installed. There, a maximum movement capacity of 1,120 mm is necessary, because the main spans are larger, in order to facilitate the passing of larger vessels.
Qingdao, Shandong, China (2011)
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