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Milestone for U5 Europaviertel: tunnel shell completed on Europa-Allee

The "U5-Europaviertel consortium", consisting of PORR Deutschland and PORR Spezialtiefbau, is entering the home straight on the U5 light rail extension project to the Europaviertel in Frankfurt am Main. At the end of October 2023, the final ceiling section for the tunnel was concreted on Europa-Allee using the cut-and-cover method. With the completion of the shell construction, all open and closed tunnelling work for the new U5 light rail line from Frankfurt Central Station to the new Europaviertel district has been completed. The last major construction phase is now the shell construction of the Güterplatz underground station.

The 137-metre-long ramp structure, via which the light rail reaches the surface in front of the Emser Bridge, and the tunnel portal were also completed in 2023.


© SBEV / Helbig

Frank Thiel, senior site manager of PORR Civil Engineering, is full of praise for the team: "The U5 Europaviertel project is extremely complex and demanding. In order to construct a 1,160-metre-long tunnel in an inner-city area and partly under existing buildings, special civil engineering, tunnelling, reinforced concrete construction as well as construction logistics must be in constant communication and react flexibly to changes despite meticulous planning of the processes. The PORR spirit has carried us through the project over the years. This means sharing all relevant information internally and externally, taking responsibility and delivering the highest quality every day."

The 137-metre-long ramp structure, which brings the light rail to the surface in front of the Emser bridges, as well as the tunnel portal, were also completed in 2023. The architecturally sophisticated, three-dimensionally curved ramp collar gives the structure an artistic appearance and was elaborately produced on site by PORR's concrete workers. The outstanding areas above the tunnel structure will be backfilled by the beginning of 2024.

Two Frankfurt premieres were also celebrated as part of the tunnelling work: The first mechanised tunnelling with a tunnel boring machine, which was completed in June 2021, and the successful connection to the existing structure in March 2022 by means of mined tunnelling under compressed air. At a depth of 17 metres below Platz der Republik, the new tunnel tubes meet the existing tunnel from the 1990s - currently still separated by a wall. This is intended to protect the structures in the event of an accident during construction work at Güterplatz station.

The Arge team does not have time to catch its breath. "We will do everything we can to complete the Güterplatz underground station as quickly as possible," assures Frank Thiel. Excavation of the construction pit, which is up to 24 metres deep and 180 metres long, is already well advanced. As soon as the tunnel tubes in the area of the underground station have been dismantled and removed for recycling, the shell construction work can begin.


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