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A consortium consisting of STRABAG AG, Ed. Züblin AG and STRABAG Rail GmbH has been hired by Deutsche Bahn AG to upgrade a 5.7 km railway line within the municipal limits of Sande in the district of Friesland, Lower Saxony. The contract is part of the Oldenburg–Wilhelmshaven rail upgrade line. The construction measures will improve the Wilhelmshaven container terminal’s link to the national railway network and adapt the railway line to the rising volume of cargo traffic.
The new track section will bypass Sande to the east of the municipality and comprises a 4 km long double-track new line as well as the addition of a second track to an existing 1.7 km section. The tracks within the municipality itself will be dismantled. The contract has a value of about € 115 million. The construction works are scheduled to last 3.5 years.
For STRABAG SE CEO Thomas Birtel, the infrastructure project is of enormous importance: “The upgrade line will strengthen both the European rail freight transport as well as the container hub at Wilhelmshaven. We are happy to be able to contribute the expertise of the various STRABAG subsidiaries to the realisation of this construction project.”
Due to the peat soils in the area, extensive preloading of the ground is necessary along this section. This will be achieved by STRABAG AG with the application of around 1 million m³ of sand filling. In the vicinity of high embankments, 200,000 running metres of geotextile-encased sand columns with a length of around 12–15 m each will be installed. These so-called GEC columns will help to reduce the level of settlement while stabilising the subsoil. In the lower embankment areas, settlement will be accelerated through 2,600 km of vertical drains.
Teamwork in the group
STRABAG AG, Subdivision Large-Scale Projects North-West, is assuming technical leadership of the consortium as well as all earthworks and works along the route. The tasks assigned to ZÜBLIN include an 86 m triple-span composite bridge over the Ems-Jade Canal, two additional rail bridges, three road overpasses and four deep foundations. The double-track railway with 11 km of track-laying will be carried out by the consortium partner STRABAG Rail, which will also dismantle the existing track within the Sande city limits.