A40 Duisburg Rhine Bridge Closing to Trucks

Yet another German motorway bridge with structural defects will close to trucks for at least the next six weeks.

Also, a Norwegian trucker picks his Secret Place. Councils in the French Alps want to ban Euro 3 trucks from July. DFDS claims major loss Dover-Calais despite revenue upswing. Drivers stranded in Iceland storm, again.

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A40 DUISBURG RHINE BRIDGE CLOSING TO TRUCKS

Another major German motorway bridge needs urgent repairs.

The A40 Neuenkamp Bridge over the Rhine towards Duisburg – in the Ruhr region of west Germany – is the latest major road bridge found to be suffering from major defects.

It is one of an estimated forty percent of bridges in the country in poor condition.

As of noon Tuesday, Neuenkamp will close for trucks over 3.5t eastbound, barring them from the most direct route into Duisport, the world’s largest inland port and important steel making centre.

Urgent welding work is needed, estimated to take between six weeks and five months.

The diversion – via the A57, A42 and A3, see below – is said to take an extra hour.

Completed in 1971 the 775m Neuenkamp Bridge was designed to carry 30,000 vehicles each day but last year carried 110,000 vehicles per day including 11,000 trucks. It was previously renovated between 2004-2006 and the surface re-laid in 2007.

According to Deutsche Welle, bridges in the Nord Rhein Westphalia region (NRW), which encompasses Duisburg and the Ruhr, are in an even worse state than the rest of the country.

Out of 229 bridges surveyed so far, 150 will have to be rebuilt and 64 need repairs.

The Neuenkamp closure comes a few weeks after the A643 Schiersteiner Bridge between Wiesbaden and Mainz was found to have dropped 30cm overnight. It has been closed to all vehicles since.

The A1 Rhine Bridge at Leverkusen to the north of Cologne was closed to trucks 3.5t+ in March 2013, with other vehicles restricted to 60kmh, after structural cracks were discovered. It was expected to re-open in January but further damage uncovered during the work has seen that date put back by at least six months.

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Mercedes-Benz Trucks is running a series of Secret Places, spots nominated by drivers as their favourite places. A Norwegian driver chose the curving Storseisund Bridge on R64 Atlantic Way between Kårvåg and Vevang, voted Norway's ‘Structure of the Century’ with its 23-metre-high arch to allow ships to pass underneath at all tides. ‘This bridge always makes for a very special experience,’ he says. ‘You go home every time with a completely different impression, depending on whether the tide is in or out, whether the wind is whipping up the ocean or the sun is shining. If you're in luck, you might even see seals or whales from the cusp of bridge.’ See more Secret Places at roadstars.mercedes-benz.com

Mercedes-Benz Trucks is running a series of ‘Secret Places’, spots nominated by drivers as their favourites. A Norwegian driver chose the curving Storseisund Bridge on R64 Atlantic Way between Kårvåg and Vevang – voted Norway’s ‘Structure of the Century’ – with its 23-metre-high arch to allow ships to pass underneath at all tides. ‘This bridge always makes for a very special experience,’ he says. ‘You go home every time with a completely different impression, depending on whether the tide is in or out, whether the wind is whipping up the ocean or the sun is shining. If you’re in luck, you might even see seals or whales from the cusp of bridge.’ See more Secret Places at roadstars.mercedes-benz.com

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roundup: FRANCE. Talking of truck bans, from 1 July 2015 the local councils in the Arve Valley, on the approach to the Mont Blanc Tunnel, want to ban all pre-Euro 4 transit HGVs. Due to its geography, the Arve Valley – Vallorcine-Chamoix-Servoz – is one of the most polluted regions in France (see a roundup from The Guardian). Since January, local authorities in the French Alps – also including the A43 Maurienne and N90 Tarantaise valleys and A41 Pays de Savoie, Annecy-Chambery – have been able to ban 7.5t+ Euro 3 and lower transit HGVs (and Euro 0 and 1 local trucks) during pollution spikes. The first ban in the Arve Valley ran from 7-10 January. CROSSING THE CHANNEL. Revenue grew by 9% on DFDS’ Dover-Calais/Dunkirk routes last year but the firm still lost €3.9m on the Dover-Calais leg the firm tells Dover Express. See our DFDS results roundup from last month. The route is under the microscope due to Competition authority assertions on over-capacity, despite weekly freight queues. DFDS will nevertheless start another ship Dover-Calais in Q2 this year. ICELAND. Around 120 drivers were rescued last night from the Holtavörðuheiði mountain pass in the west of the country during a blizzard reports Iceland Review. It’s one of a number of major storms to hit Iceland this winter as journalists on the launch of the Land Rover Discovery Sport found out in December. Holtavörðuheiði is on Route 1 ‘ring road’, the 830 mile road which circumnavigates the island. The weather is calm today but expected to worsen again tomorrow.

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