Construction starts at the Entenwerder bridge with the first embankment development

The headland that juts out into the middle of the Elbe River is still rather inhospitable. The weather is partly to blame, but so too is the large Elbtower construction site in this part of HafenCity. Forty-five trees have recently been felled – not to make way for the Elbtower, but to create space for the pedestrian and cycle path leading to the new forthcoming bridge from HafenCity to Entenwerder and Rothenburgsort.

The 138-meter bridge spans the Oberhafen canal in a wide arc. Designed by the architects von Gerkan, Marg und Partner (gmp), and schlaich bergermann partner (sbp), it is intended for pedestrians and cyclists and will link eastern HafenCity as well as the Elbtower to the Rothenburgsort district. People working in the Elbbrücken quarter and Elbtower will then have easy access to the large recreational area on the Entenwerder peninsula – and the residents of Rothenburgsort will at last have an easy connection to the Elbbrücken subway and commuter rail station. Offices, stores, schools, and daycare centers can also be reached much more quickly once the bridge is in place.

To make this happen paths need to be paved in advance, the riverbank must be secured and foundations for the bridge laid. “We had to cut down the trees now so that we can start building the Entenwerder pedestrian and cycle path link this year,” says Carolin Sieger, project manager at HafenCity Hamburg GmbH. The planners are currently working with HafenCity Hamburg GmbH’s project management team to prepare the water rights permit for the Entenwerder bridge.

A network of paths

The bridge will not rise as a solitary structure over the Oberhafen canal. Instead, it will be connected to a network of pedestrian and cycle paths, which will be built before the bridge, so that they can be used as construction roads while the foundations of the bridge are being laid. On the Entenwerder peninsula, the paths have already been built. There is a cycle path along Zweibrückenstrasse on the HafenCity side, too. It now runs under the Neue Elbbrücke bridge and is being extended between the Elbtower’s base and the Altes Zollhaus to the Entenwerder bridge. “The areas that we share with the Elbtower for the construction site facilities are at the Altes Zollhaus,” explains Sieger.

»"We had to cut down the trees now so that we can start building the Entenwerder pedestrian and cycle path link this year"«

Carolin SiegerProject manager at HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

The ground and the riverbank areas need to be checked for possible unexploded ordnance from World War II. Then it’s on to the construction of the embankment walkway and bike path as well as the connecting link (the western bridgehead) of the bridge. Then the heavy supports can also be built, on which the bridge superstructure will later rest.

Welded on the Entenwerder plains

The bridge superstructure will not be manufactured directly above the Oberhafen canal but welded together a few hundred meters further east on the Entenwerder flood plains. Work is scheduled to start at the end of spring next year. The extensive welding work will take just under a year. In early summer 2025, the bridge will be pushed onto waiting pontoons in the Elbe River and transported to the canal. Special cranes on both sides of the bridge will then move the structure onto the prepared supports.

The new “Park Zweibrücken” can only be designed once the paths, embankment zones and bridge are in place. To compensate for the 45 felled trees, 70 new trees comprising sycamore maple, bird cherry and chestnut will grow on the 1.6-hectare site, which will reach impressive heights in just a few decades. Regional woody plants such as willows, poplars and alders will be planted too in the embankment zones. 

The entire site is scheduled to open at the end of 2025 and will coincide with the Elbtower, which at that point will have long since reached its full height.

Bild: © sbp_gmp_Architekten

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