From Dresden to Prague for Beakfast
To Prague for Breakfast - this was the advertising slogan of Saxon politicians for the construction of the new A17 expressway or D8 respectively as it is called on the Czech side. This would be possible indeed, since the new expressway will reduce the travel time for the 140 km long section to about 1 hour when completed in 2008. But not only day trippers will profit from this new connection.
Since the Czech Republic joined the European Union, traffic between Dresden and Prague has increased significantly. Currently, more than 2,000 trucks jam the federal highways and country roads in that area every day which has led to a significant increase in road accidents. In addition, the A17/D8 expressway is part of the No. IV trans-European corridor from Berlin to Istanbul via Prague, Budapest and Sofia. For this reason, the new expressway was included in the EU priority list of traffic projects and is financially supported by the European Investment Bank on the Czech side.
The time factor plays a vital role in this mega project, since the residents of the highly congested country roads hope for a speedy completion of the expressway. The section is about three fourth completed, however, the geographical conditions in the border area between Germany and the Czech Republic pose some difficulties with regard to the routing. Numerous bridges must be built because the area is mountainous. Also the crossing of extremely large waste dumps that are the by-product of recently terminated surface mining of coal posed a significant challenge the projects design engineers. These pits were mostly filled with cohesive material that is not particularly stable.
Various construction methods have been used for the construction of these numerous bridges, depending on which construction method was deemed best in view of the geographical conditions. Many of these single bridges were built using DYWIDAG Strand Post-Tensioning Systems. Within the scope of the extension of the D8 expressway the construction of a 1,180 m long cantilever bridge near Doksany, a town about 60 km north-west of Prague, was an important milestone. The bridge was opened to traffic in late 1998 and still is the longest bridge in the Czech Republic.
SM7 A.S., DSI's licensee in the Czech Republic, supplied and installed entire DYWIDAG Strand Post-Tensioning Systems both for the construction of the aforementioned longest bridge in the Czech Republic as well as for 20 additional bridge structures. The utilization of DYWIDAG Strand Post-Tensioning Systems under various conditions and in various methods has demonstrated the flexibility and adaptability of these systems. DSI's and its licensees committed employees can quickly adapt to the most difficult challenges and that way contribute to the completion of projects on schedule.