tk Schulte secures route to the Zugspitze

by Hans Diederichs

The hiking route through the Höllentalklamm gorge offers summiteers an extraordinary experience on the way to the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. In a unique landscape, numerous waterfalls are passed along huge rock and stone formations that open up views of gorges up to 150 metres deep. The materials experts from thyssenkrupp Schulte supplied almost seven tons of steel for this very special scenery as part of a sponsorship. The material was used in the construction of the new arched bridge, which crosses the one kilometre long gorge at an altitude of around 1,000 meters. The Garmisch Partenkirchen section of the German Alpine Association (DAV Garmisch) was responsible for initiating the joint project. The implementation and completion was carried out in cooperation with the construction company ZÜBLIN, which completed the bridge recently.  

Material in more than 20 different versions

For the materials usage in mountainous terrain, special requirements on the material quality of the components applied. These included, in particular, maximum weather resistance as well as highest structural and strain safety. On the basis of these requirements, thyssenkrupp Schulte drew up a precisely tailored parts list and provided customized steel sheets, bars and tubes. The delivery included materials in a total of more than 20 different designs – up to 12,000 millimeters long and 20 millimeters thick.

For optimum corrosion protection, the materials were further processed by project partner ZÜBLIN. The finished parts were eventually flown by helicopter from the foot of the Zugspitze in Grainau, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, to one of the highest construction sites in Germany. At its destination at an altitude of about 1,000 metres, each of the steel parts is now successfully used in the arch bridge and serves as a girder, web plate, pillar, or handrail. With the material used, up to 100,000 hikers will be able to cross the unique Höllentalklamm safely from the start of the season.

Detlef Schotten, Managing Director of thyssenkrupp Schulte, is glad about the good cooperation with all project partners and the successful completion: "When the DAV Garmisch approached us, we did not hesitate to get involved with a sponsorship and to contribute our material know-how to the joint success of all service providers involved in the project.”

Historical bridge as a symbol of engineering art and pioneering spirit

The old arched bridge already had a long history. It was inaugurated more than 115 years ago and has since been a symbol of engineering and pioneering spirit. Every year it prepared the way to the Zugspitze for tens of thousands of hikers and offered spectacular views of the Höllentalklamm gorge. The new bridge, which has a span of 7 metres and two adjoining footbridges, is to follow this example and become a new landmark on the way to Zugspitze.

Source: tk Schulte            Photo: Johannes Zettel

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