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  • waagner biroinsights

    bridge systems

  • 04 enchanting

    visions for genera-tions


    in istanbul or hamburg: traffic

    must flow

    14counting down

    18 we need a bridge

    that wont require any maintenance

    20 bridges: gateways

    to the world

    22 company portrait

    IMPRINT: Publisher: Waagner-Biro Austria Stage Systems AG, Leonard-Bernstein Strasse 10, 1220 Vienna Concept & Design: Wien Nord Werbeagentur Text: asoluto public + interactive relations Photos: getty images (cover, p. 14), Harald Walken (p. 5, bottom), David Haschny (p. 7), Suleyman Dogen (p. 11, top) Klienne Eco (p. 20), Archive Waagner-Biro AG Vienna, 2012

    Puente Continental, Perus longest suspension bridge.

  • their use in fulfilling human social and economic needs. Which is how it should be.

    Here at Waagner-Biro we apply this basic guid-ing principle to every new bridge project. As a full service provider, we develop solutions for an incredibly diverse range of tasks. Nearly 160 years of experience in this field have made us one of the worlds most recognised bridge system partners. Please take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the multifaceted world of Waagner-Biro Bridge Systems on the following pages. We are sure you will be surprised at the variety of perspectives from which the subject can be approached.

    Probably the oldest remaining bridges in the world the Arkadiko Bridges in Greece dating back to the Mycenaean Epoch from 1700BC1100 BC were built specifically to help people reach their destinations more quickly and safely. Much has changed over the ages. Such as modern means of transportation, thanks to which we have bridges for cars, trains and trams in addition to pedestrians. Or shipping on rivers and harbours, calling for lifting, swing and bas-cule bridges. And the ever increasing frequency of bridge users, so what were once simple structures, are now often massive engineering masterpieces. Nevertheless and despite all these technological developments, the focus is still on

    bridging the


    03 bridge systems

  • 04 bridge systems

  • There is something magical about building bridges. As children, we are delighted suddenly to find a tree trunk or stepping stones over a stream. Even then, we feel the need to overcome the obstacle.

    Bridges are equally special in the adult world. Outstanding examples are household names around the world. If you are nearby, you feel compelled to see them. Names like the Golden Gate Bridge, Ponte Vecchio, Tower Bridge and the Charles Bridge in Prague. Imposing man-made structures, all with their own long histories.

    But what is so fascinating about bridges? Is it their architecture, their cultural significance, their sheer size or the engineering brilliance

    Built in 1884, the Trisanna Bridge in Tyrol is still regarded as one of the most impressive bridges in Austria.


    visionsfor generations.

    05 bridge systems

  • behind their design and construction? Probably a little of each. Ultimately, it depends on the type of bridge itself. Whether a cable-stayed bridge, suspension bridge or arched bridge somehow each type of bridge has its own charm. Each has an individual appearance and none is quite like another.

    As a bridge construction company with nearly 160 years of experience in the business, Waa-gner-Biro has built all typical bridge types. The steel construction company has been involved in numerous nationally renowned bridge pro-jects in its Austrian homeland: Danube Bridge Hainburg, Prater Bridge, Schweden Bridge, Nord Bridge, Brigittenauer Bridge, Donaustadt Bridge, Trisanna Bridge and Jauntal Bridge, still the high-est railway bridge in Europe. And, last but not least, the Europe Bridge in Tirol, for many years the highest bridge above ground in Europe. They

    are all still delivering a valuable service to our citizens, even after many years.Waagner-Biro is also responsible for impressive bridge projects outside of Austria. The Puente Continental in southern Peru, for example, towers over the jungle. At 528 m it is the longest suspension bridge ever constructed by Waagner-Biro. The bridge over the Madre de Dios River is a section of the more than 2,600 km Interoceanic Highway, a large scale infrastruc-ture program intended to reinforce the Peru/Brazil/Bolivia axis. Looking at this impressive construction, it is hard to believe that the steel structure was delivered back in the 1980s. Then, the project was put on hold due to political and financial pressures, and was only completed in July 2011. The delay didnt affect the outcome. A steel structure now perches on two massive concrete foundations, not only optically, but also technically impressive.

    Obstacles that can be crOssed, nO lOnger need

    tO be avOided.Ernst Ferstl, author

    The Donaustadt Bridge majestically spans the Danube in Vienna.

    06 bridge systems

  • 07 bridge systems

  • The fascination with a bridge is also depen-dent on your vantage point. Standing im-mediately before or directly on the bridge, gives an observer a completely different impression than the one given from the bank alongside the bridge. The dimensions of a bridge are perceived very differently. Cable stay or arched bridges are always real eye-catchers from both perspectives. Standing on the roadway of the Danube City Bridge in Vienna, the upward view is interrupted by sturdy, thick steel cables that vanish toward a point in the sky. Viewed from the side, the cable installation looks more like a downward facing open fan.

    Another example is in Indonesia. You only ap-preciate how massive and sturdy the two steel arch structures of the Teluk Palu Bridge actually are when you cross it. Only then do you become truly aware of the massive steel structure. Viewed from afar, the design of the bridge is impressive, extending 252 m over the river. Two perspec-tives, two impressions.

    Bridges fascinate young and old through their appearance, size and technical functionality. While that may well be true, theres more to it. Our fascination is rooted in their intrinsic pur-pose, namely to connect people and places. That is what gives them their real magic.

    The view from below gives a fresh perspective of the Zaabel Bridge in Dubai.

    08 bridge systems

  • life is the building Of bridges Over rivers

    that seep away.Gottfried Benn, poet and doctor

    The Teluk Palu Bridge in Indonesias Sulawesi province is visible for miles around.

    09 bridge systems

  • In many respects, Istanbul is a city of superla-tives. With over 13 million inhabitants, it ranks fourth in the list of the worlds most populated cities and is the only global metropolis situated on two continents. Istanbul is also by far the largest traffic hub in Turkey.

    Urban traffic assumes gigantic proportions just because of the size of the population. One thing above all is required to prevent total gridlock and to connect the two halves of the city, separated by the Bosphorus: Bridges for cars, pedestrians and public transport. Reflect on the dimensions for a moment: The Bosphorus Bridge alone is crossed by around 180,000 cars every day. Some of the bridges in Istanbul span the Golden Horn, a 7 km inlet of the Bosphorus. But none of the existing bridges fulfils the purpose of the

    project awarded at the end of 2009 to Waagner-Biro by the Astaldi-Glermak Joint Venture: A swing bridge for a double-track subway line, with a mechanism guaranteeing the unhindered flow of traffic above the estuary as well as along it.

    The problem facing many metropolitan centres around the world is the same a lack of space. To span a waterway with a bridge that is high enough for maritime traffic to pass under, requires the building of ramps to reach the required height. And these take up considerable space, which is often unavailable in densely populated areas. However, there are technical solutions to master this challenge, namely mov-able bridge systems, a specialist field of bridge construction at which Waagner-Biro, with its long-standing expertise in the market, excels.

    There are three types of movable bridge systems, all offered by Waagner-Biro: Swing bridges, bascule bridges and lifting bridges. The Golden Horn will see a swing bridge in operation, with an electrohy-draulic drive system permitting up to 90 rotation, allowing ships to pass through easily. Around 3,000 tonnes are displaced during this process and the opening cycle takes only 6 minutes. The core of this engineering masterpiece is the drive system, which must function quickly and precisely, as well as reliably and faultlessly. A failure to fulfil any one of these requirements perfectly or, even worse, a defect, and consequences for the traffic would be dire. The level of trust in the expertise of the bridge construction company commissioned needs to be high. Such an assurance can only be provided by specialists such as Waagner-Biro, the company commissioned to carry out the project.

    whether in istanbul or hamburg:

    trafficmust flow.

    10 bridge systems

  • At the Golden Horn in Istanbul, a high-tech swing bridge to cross the Halic (a tributary ofthe Bosporus) is under construction.

    bridge systems 11

  • Over 7,000 ha in size, over 120,000,000 t of car-go transhipped in 2010, and 320 berths for ships from around the globe. And all serving a single objective: To move goods from Point A to Point B. This requires functional infrastructure. The new Waagner-Biro bascule bridge is designed to be opened and closed around 3,000 times a year as quickly and reliably as technically possible. Downtimes resulting from technical faults would be disastrous to goods freight. The commission-ing client, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) has reinforced this with the directive that Traffic must flow and threatened the bridge builders with severe punitive measures. The builders have responded with engineering excellence to master the challenge.

    The closing operation is particularly demanding as both leaves of the bridge must be lowered synchronously and lock simultaneously. The impact of wind and weather on this process is such that both leaves cannot simply be lowered at the same speed. Consequently, Waagner-Biros engineers have installed an ingenious position sensing system that finely adjusts the simultane-ous closure of both leaves. Furthermore, the closing operation cannot take longer than six minutes, nor the opening operation more than four, as you can be sure that somebody is in a hurry again.

    But on the Bosphorus there is yet another challenge: Istanbul is regularly affected by earth-quakes. This was also taken into consideration in the design of the swing bridge: The bridge must be able to withstand an earthquake of a magni-tude experienced only once every 2,000 years.

    Istanbul is a perfect example of the traffic situ-ation found in many cities around the world. Wherever harbours are found in heavily built up areas, there is usually the challenge of finding a traffic-friendly solution which uses the least possible space. One of the largest harbours in Eu-rope is in Hamburg and a Waagner-Biro movable bridge system is also in use there. Construction work for a bascule bridge began in February 2011 to replace the vertical lift bridge opened back in 1934. It spans the Rethe, a waterway in the harbour precinct.

    With a span exceeding 100 m, the new bascule bridge is one of the largest of its kind worldwide. The bridge has two leaves for road traffic and two more for rail traffic. The advantage of a bascule bridge over a lifting bridge is a practical one: The height of ships is not restrictive.

    After Rotterdam and Antwerp, Hamburg Harbour is the third largest maritime harbour in Europe and has impressive statistics to prove it:

    The bascule bridge in the port of Hamburg one of the biggest of its kind opens and closes around 3,000 times a year.

    12 bridge systems

  • Movable bridges are also used for pedestrian thoroughfares, such as the Sean OCasey Pedes-trian Swing Bridge, constructed across the Liffey River in Dublin by the Waagner-Biro subsidiary Qualter, Hall & Co Ltd.

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  • 14 bridge systems

  • counting

    down. In August 2002 the population of North Eastern Austria faced major challenges. In only a couple of weeks two massive deluges caused the Danube and its tributaries to overflow, resulting in catastrophic floods of unimaginable propor-tions. Rivers overflowed their banks and flooded vast expanses of land including areas unaf-fected by flooding for 100 years. Basements were under water and whole houses were washed away. Infrastructure suffered immensely. Roads were destroyed and bridges damaged. Getting from A to B became a difficult endeavour. And it was precisely this that impeded the delivery of much needed emergency aid.

    In the Lower Austrian municipality of Stallegg, for example, the foundations of the bridge over the Kamp River were damaged so severely that neither residents nor helpers were able to cross the bridge. Stallegg was practically cut off from the outside world and required immediate help which was on hand in a depot 130km away. That was where the components of a so-called panel bridge, a modular bridge system consisting of a flexibly extendable number of fixed dimension modules, were located. These panels are prefabricated and are used as, among other things, emergency bridges. Bridges like

    15 bridge systems

  • these reduce waiting time to an absolute mini-mum, because when you are counting down the hours, things need to happen fast. And fast really means fast: It generally takes only a week to ready the bridge for transportation to its final destination. In Stallegg, it only took three days for the steel emergency bridge to be installed by the Austrian army, reconnecting the town to the outside world.

    Thanks to these features, panel bridges are used in countries subject to regular natural disasters or those which require much-needed and long-awaited infrastructure. Consequently, Waagner-Biros core markets are in Africa, South-East Asia, and Central and South America.

    Not only nature imposes tight time restrictions. Often, things need to happen fast for purely economic reasons.

    One example: A calorific power plant was constructed in North-East Algeria near the city of Annaba in 2010. A large, financially significant project with a tight deadline. Punitive penalties were to be avoided at virtually any cost. But there was a real risk of not being able to avoid them. Transportation of the requisite turbines and transformers to the plant was difficult because the existing bridge infrastructure was not able to cope with the loads involved in this case, 512 tonnes. As the project schedule did not al-low for the existing infrastructure to be suitably upgraded, Waagner-Biro was commissioned to provide three panel bridges to bear the heavy transportation vehicles. To cut a long story short, the bridges easily carried the load. And even a week earlier than required. So what turned out to be the strongest panel bridge in the world was built in record time and the construction of the power plant went ahead without delay.

    Whether in Stallegg in Lower Austria or in An-naba in Algeria, there are many situations where panel bridges can be deployed successfully anywhere where the focus is on installing the requisite infrastructure quickly, simply and at a competitive price.

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  • The panel bridge in the Austrian town of Klosterneuburg, close to Vienna, was built in just four days.

    Built in Algeria, the worlds strongest panel bridge comfortably handles a transport of 500 tons.

    17 bridge systems

  • we need a

    bridgethat wont require any


    We would like an emergency bridge that we can put in storage now, but can then install within one week just when its needed, without external assistance. This is the kind of request the staff at Waagner-Biro receive on a daily basis. Then its time to call in our engineering experts who develop intricately crafted solu-tions brimming with innovative resourcefulness. Most of this will go unnoticed by those using the bridge. They are more likely to perceive its sheer size, its possible weight, its architectural relationship to the surrounding landscape or the almost palpable bulk of a massive steel structure. It is often only at a second glance that the innovative work underlying bridge con-struction becomes apparent. When you look a little closer you soon notice how multifaceted bridge building innovation is. Sometimes its an engineering challenge, like opening and closing bascule bridges. Not only must the two leaves of the bridge close as quickly as possible, but also at a corresponding rate. This requires an ingenious position sensing system that counter-balances the impact of wind and weather. Who would have thought that every second saved in closing a bridge would have such a massive impact on energy consumption? Despite

    sudden unexpected peaks in consumption, a supply of power must be guaranteed at all times. Waagner-Biro specialises in such challenging drive solutions, pioneering developments in this area. As one of the first providers worldwide, the company developed an electrohydraulic system for use on the Prai River Bridge in Ma-laysia in the 1960s. Using electrohydraulic drive systems in moving bridges has since become standard around the globe.

    Engineering innovations are easily compre-hended. Its a little more difficult when it comes to project management. An example: Newly industrialised countries, in particular, urgently need bridges that can be installed very quickly. To reduce costs, it is best if the installation is possible without external assistance, utilising the local workforce. Waagner-Biro joined forces with experts from the Vienna University of Technol-ogy to develop a proprietary bridge system to fulfil this exact requirement so-called panel bridges. Even at the structures planning stage, care was taken to ensure the simplest possible installation. In addition to a detailed, but easily comprehensible blueprint to be included with the delivery of the components, a brief basic

    training session about the bridge system is required. Each additional bridge can then be installed without external assistance.

    Every bridge building innovation is driven by the problem on the ground and this can vary immensely. Whether that problem is complex or simple customers receive additional benefits through the innovation. They receive something new, reflecting the original meaning of the word, which is from the Latin innovare, meaning to renew. So equating innovation with invention is actually selling the word short.

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  • The new double track railway bridge across the Prai River is technically outstanding. The massive centre pivot with its slewing gear opens the 90metre deck with a weight of 1,100 tons in only 2minutes. It will be just as reliable as its predecessor which performed its duty since 1964 without any interruption. This one was also designed and built by Waagner-Biro.

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  • bridges:

    gatewaysto the world.

    20 bridge systems

  • Modular bridges feature a flexible building-block design. Every specification for flexible length, width, support span and load-bearing capacity was filled with this type of bridge in Abra - the ideal bridge solution under the given circum-stances. The outcome was the Calaba Bridge, at 900 metres, currently the longest modular bridge in the world. This fact was also prominently celebrated the day it was opened. Consequently, the opening ceremony was led by none other than the then president of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and the responsible minister, Victor Domingo.

    Similar challenges can be found in many developing and newly industrialised countries, in which the development of infrastructure is a pervasive topic. Interest is always in the simplest structure that can be installed on site by the local workforce. Bridges also need to be delivered quickly and should require minimal mainte-nance. These features mean there is very high demand for modular bridges. In the last decade alone, Waagner-Biro has delivered around 440 bridges to the Philippines and the Austrian bridge builder supplies roughly 100 bridges every year to neighbouring Indonesia. With this expertise, the company is now the second largest provider of system bridges in the world.

    Demand in the Philippines is also boosted by recurring natural disasters that destroy the coun-trys infrastructure. Like Typhoon Frank in 2008 which damaged Antique province on the Philip-pine island of Panay. Suddenly, the hinterland was cut off and its economic development was retarded by several years. The infrastructure had to be rebuilt very quickly. The 430 metre modu-lar Bugo Bridge built by Waagner-Biro was designed to help trade and agriculture get back on its feet again in this structurally weak region. It served not only to connect two places, but also as a bridgehead to a better future.

    To the locals in the Abra Region in the Philippines, 3rd May 2010 brought great relief. Until that day, the eponymous Abra River had been a considerable barrier, with the municipali-ties of La Paz, Danglas and Lagayan the most affected. If local inhabitants needed to reach the other side of the river, they were reliant upon the antiquated ferry. This was not only tedious and time consuming, but also dangerous during the rainy season. Consequently, the ferry had to cease operations for reasons of safety when the water level rose too high, making the river impassable. Many people were then isolated and access to schools, hospitals and shops was com-promised. Long awaited assistance came from a bridge construction project financed jointly by the Philippine and Austrian governments. The contract was awarded for a Waagner-Biro modular bridge system.

    The completion of the Calaba Bridge, the longest modular bridge ever built by Waagner-Biro, is a dream come true for the people of the Philippine province of Abra, opening up the world to them.

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  • Waagner-Biro is an international full-service supplier of steel bridges and system bridges. Based in Vienna, the company has over 150 years of bridge building experience; its broad range of services incorporates all the main bridge types. Waagner-Biros reputation on its core markets of Europe, Asia, the United Arab Emirates and South America as well as the new market of Af-rica is based on the high quality of its services, innovative solutions and systematic attention to customer needs. The 4,000-plus bridges we have constructed are the proof.


    Waagner-Biro Bridge Systems AGSaturn TowerLeonard-Bernstein-Strasse 101220 Vienna, AustriaT: +43/1/288 44 0 F: +43/1/288 44 [email protected]


    P.T. Waagner-Biro IndonesiaTalavera Office Park Building Lt. 11 Unit #02 & #03 JI.Jl. Let. Jen. TB Simatupang Kav. 2226Jakarta 12430, IndonesiaT: +62/21/7592 4355F: +62/21/7592 [email protected]


    Waagner Biro Gulf L.L.C.Abu BakR Al/Sidai StreetP. O. Box 8542Dubai Vereinigte Arabische EmirateT: +971/4/320 38 70F: +971/4/320 38 71wabidxbemirates.net.ae


    Waagner Biro Philippines Inc.2/F Keystone Building220 Sen. Gil Puyat AvenueMakati City 1200, Manila, PhilippinesT: +63/2/893 03 51 F: +63/2/893 03 [email protected]

    SeRvIce PoRTfolIo

    Waagner-Biro is a full service supplier, working with all common bridge types:

    system bridges

    Modular bridges Panel bridges

    movable bridges

    Bascule bridges Swing bridges Lifting bridges

    special bridges

    Suspension bridges Cable-stayed bridges Arch bridges Plate-girder bridges Truss bridges Pipeline bridges Composite bridges Architectural bridges

    flyover ramps


    Bridge design Bridge construction Bridge service and maintenance Bridge raising Bridge refurbishment

    financial consulting

    and support


    The companys core markets are on four conti-nents. Numerous references attest to Waagner-Biros expertise in bridge construction.


    Austria: Donaustadt Bridge, Europe Bridge, Brigittenauer Bridge, Danube Bridge Hainburg, Kaisermhlen Bridge, Trisanna Bridge, etc.United Kingdom: Gloucester Swing Bridge, Pedestrian Swing Bridge Hull, Ports of Kings Lynn, Fretherne Bridge, etc.Germany: Rethe Bascule Bridge, Hohlbeinsteg, Moselle Bridge, etc.Others: Valencia Bascule Bridge (Spain), Golden Horn Swing Bridge (Turkey), etc.


    UAE: Dubai Floating Bridge, Al Maktoum Bascule Bridge, Zaabel Cable Stay Bridge, Karama-Deira BridgeSoutheast Asia: Numerous modular bridges supplied every year to the core markets of the Philippines and Indonesia; also panel bridges for South Korea and Thailand; Prai River Swing Bridge in Malaysia.


    The focus in Africa is on panel bridges (supplied to Morocco, Algeria and elsewhere).

    south america

    Puente Continental (Peru), Malecon (Ecuador), Kendal Modular Bridge (Belize), etc.


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  • Puento Continental: built by people, for people.

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  • waagner biroinsights

    bridge systems