The Turmstraße bridge construction project is a massive intervention in urban traffic. For RWTH and its members, this break in the traffic flow in combination with further construction sites and closures will have significant consequences in a wide variety of aspects.
FAQ on Turmstrasse
Why does the bridge need to be rebuilt?
After an inspection, the condition of the bridge was rated as being "inadequate" by experts. According to the city of Aachen, damaged concrete was found on both the superstructure and the substructure as well as in the so-called box girder interiors. Cracks, spalling, loose concrete, efflorescence and gravel pockets were identified. The drainage system is also defective. Water is partially present in the box girder, and certain areas are soaked through. The reinforcement also shows damage, and the road surface is defective.
Why can't it be refurbished?
In 2015, an economic feasibility study showed that replacing the superstructure as a composite bridge made of steel and concrete would be more economical than all other options and thus also than refurbishment. The design of the current bridge, which has both longitudinal and transversal reinforcements, requires complete demolition.
When will the building work start?
The start of construction has been scheduled for May 2022. According to information from the city of Aachen, the road will be fully closed from May 2. The work is scheduled for completion in December 2023.
Who is responsible for the building work?
RWTH is not involved in the construction project. The city of Aachen is responsible and commissions the appropriate specialist companies. RWTH is in constant exchange with the responsible persons of the city in order to be able to assess and communicate the effects.
Will Turmstraße be closed during the construction work?
Yes, according to the city of Aachen, temporary bridges will not be available due to the flood disaster. This is contrary to what was originally planned. Turmstraße is to be completely closed to all road users in both directions from May 2022 to December 2023.
What diversions will be in place?
The diversion concept from the city's traffic planners was endorsed by the Council's Mobility Committee at its meeting on February 17, 2022. It provides for extensive bypasses via the outer ring road. Claßenstrasse, Seffenter Weg, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Strasse and Professor-Pirlet-Strasse are planned to be used to get around the construction site. Templergraben is not to be opened; it will remain closed to private motorized traffic as a living lab. However, it may be opened later on. RWTH Aachen University will constantly communicate with the responsible persons of the city in order to ensure that the needs of all University members and institutions are taken into account.
What other effects will the building work have on the surrounding streets?
Additional impacts to traffic in the surrounding area cannot be prevented. Longer commutes to and within the University area will have to be planned. Residential neighborhoods will also be affected.
Will the the parking garage on Professor-Pirlet-Straße still be accessible?
According to the city's planning, it will be accessible during the entire construction period.
Will the Talbot parking lot remain accessible?
According to the city, the Talbot parking lot will also remain accessible via Wüllnerstrasse using the planned diversion routes during the construction phase. Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse will be completely closed from May 2, 2022, to June 30, 2022, after which it will be reopened exclusively for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, according to the city's traffic planning department.
Will rail traffic be affected?
Yes. Closure times for the demolition and new construction of the bridge will be coordinated with DB Netz AG. Rail traffic between Westbahnhof and Schanz station will initially be suspended from 9pm on May 13, 2022, until May 27, 2022, due to the demolition work. Rail traffic going towards Aachen will then end in Herzogenrath, according to the train company. From there, Deutsche Bahn AG will provide rail replacement services to Aachen and in the opposite direction. Further weekend closures of rail traffic are planned irregularly until the end of the work. The following dates have been set: September 9 from 9pm to September 12 at 5am, September 24 from 1pm to September 26 at 4am, December 17 from 1am to December 18 at 9pm.
Will the new bridge be designed differently to its predecessor?
Currently, the bridge has a width of 19.90 meters. According to the city of Aachen, the future bridge will be enlarged to 22.20 meters and will allow for wider sidewalks. The sidewalk in the direction of Schanz will be adjusted to 2.50 meters, and the sidewalk in the direction of Ponttor will be widened from the current 2.20 meters to 3.50 meters.