News from the construction site

Elisa- construction sign
eHighway Elisa-functional test on the A5 between Darmstadt and Frankfurt

30.11.2018: Functional tests go as planned

"Germany's first eHighway has been built on a Hessian autobahn and for the first time a catenary hybrid truck (CHT) connects to the overhead contact line", said Gerd Riegelhuth, vice president of Hessen Mobil and project manager of ELISA."Thus, project ELISA I has been completed on time and ELISA II, i.e.operations, can start in 2019,"Riegelhuth continues.

At present, the first catenary hybrid trucks run on autobahn A5 between Langen/Mörfelden and Weiterstadt to verify the functionality of the test track. The design has been specifically adapted to the conditions on this stretch of road and ensure a velocity of up to 90 km/h.

See the latest video here.

23.11.2018: Test track about to be put into operation

The concrete proctective wall has been erected in both directions of traffic. Construction efforts and installation of the overhead power lines in both driving directions have been completed this week.

Construction worker works on overhead lines on a lift

09.11.2018: Under construction: concrete protective wall in northbound direction

The protective wall in northbound direction is currently being constructed and will be completed in the course of next week. The concrete wall will cover the entire track and span 5 kilometers in each driving direction.

Meanwhile, in southbound direction the mounting of the droppers along the track is proceeding as scheduled.

After the works detailed above, there will be some smaller final tasks before the track is finished.

26.10.2018 Final sprint in northbound direction

Save a few small tasks, all droppers have been mounted in northbound direction. The ELISA track in the direction of Frankfurt is therefore about to be completed. Construction of the concrete protection walls are scheduled to start at the beginning of November.

At present, there is a 3.5 kilometer section of the protection wall in southbound direction. The entire 5 kilometers will be completed in the upcoming week. So far, the droppers have been mounted along a 1.5 kilometer stretch.

Markings on the eHighway test track

17.08.2018: Catenary wires in place

In driving direction of Frankfurt the catenary wires have been tensioned and unclamped at the last power line tower (see photo). On Monday, August 20 the permanent druppers will be mounted along the first 150 meters. This is also way of controlling the current plans for mounting the droppers and include new empirical data about setting droppers above an autobahn.

The next two weeks (CW 34 + 35) will be spent calculating droppers parameters for the entire track in driving direction of Frankfurt. One dropper per three meters will connect the catenary wire with the messenger wire.

In turn, in driving direction of Darmstadt, the first length of messenger wire was tensioned this week.

ELISA-finished contact wires

10.08.2018: First catenary wires installed

This week, two sections of the catenary wire have been installed in northbound direction. The remaining three sections will follow at the beginning of next week.

Background information: The catenary wire can only be installed per entire tension length. It is not possible to interrupt the process or to install only part of a section. Therefore, a temporary work area is established for each length that is to be installed. First, the wire is tensioned and attached with temporary droppers to the messenger wire. In the subsequent weeks, the cantilever arms are mounted to the cantilevers and the exact length of the droppers is determined. The cantilever arms and droppers are attached by hand, also the exact adjusting into side and height position is done manually.

In southbound direction, the installation of the cantilevers is about to be completed.

Truck construction crane

03.08.2018: Transformer stations erected

In northbound direction, the last section of the messenger wire has been installed.

Construction workers stand in front of a container, which is lowered on ropes

In southbound direction, the installation of the cantilevers is ongoing. To this date, 96 cantilevers have been attached.

Additionally, two rectifier substations have been set up. As they weigh 20 tons each, they were delivered by low-loader and placed by crane onto the foundations that had been prepared beforehand. The whole process took about 30-45 minutes per transformer station. The rectifier substations are located on the Gräfenhausen service station and rest area WEST and on the parking lot Bornbruch WEST, respectively (referring to direction of Darmstadt). They measure 8.40 x 2.95 x 3.10 meters.

Important information: As of next week, the catenary wires will be tensioned. This is an important milestone within the ELISA project.

Construction workers stand in front of a container, which is lowered on ropes

27.07.2018: Installation of overhead line continues

These days, the overhead line is being installed in nortbound direction. By Friday, already four out of five sections are expected to be equipped with two parallel messenger wires each.

Besides, all ten elastic support points and the last cantilevers on the east side will be attached.

In southbound direction, installation of the cantilevers is ongoing. To this date, 84 cantilevers have been attached. See here the time lapse video:

Construction workers work on overhead lines on a lift

20.07.2018: Overhead line installation started

On July 23rd, the overhead line installation in northbound direction will start. From Monday to Friday, the messenger wire will be tensioned along the entire length. This will be the first connection between the cantilevers, it is not the catenary wire. The catenary wire is scheduled to be installed as of August.

In addition, the remaining five elastic support points will be fixed to the bridges in the course of next week by means of temporary nighttime work areas.

In southbound direction, installation of the cantilevers is ongoing. To this date, 77 cantilevers have been attached.

Background information: The cantilevers of the poles on the dividing strip span only the direction that has the technical necessity. That is why on the dividing strip only one post is equipped with two cantilevers while the other five only come with one cantilever each that points in the required driving direction.

eHighway test track

13.07.2018: The poles are complete

The cantilevers have been attached to the dividing strip poles according to schedule in the night hours between July 6th and 8th, 2018. Hence the installation of the poles on the dividing strip is complete and they are ready for later installation of the catenary wires.

In northbound direction, the last side pole and the corresponding cantilever have been installed this week. This marks completion of the pole and cantilever installation in this driving direction.

Furtermore, all poles in southbound direction will be installed by the end of the week. In the coming week the installation of the cantilevers in this direction will be continued.

eHighway test track

06.07.2018: Poles erected on the dividing strip

Thursday night, another milestone in the construction of the first overhed line system on a German autobahn was reached: In the area of the Gräfenhausen service station and rest area, six poles were erected on the strip that divides the driving directions of the autobahn. Each of the poles is 15 meters high. By the end of the week, the cantilevers will be attached onto those poles at nighttime.

In addition, the last foundation was constructed in northbound direction in the course of the week. Next week, the remaining pole will be erected here and the corresponding cantilever attached. With this last one set, all poles will be in place in this driving direction.

In southbound direction, 81 poles have been erected, 22 balanced weight anchors constructed, 15 cantilevers attached, and 134 footing tubes installed.

Test track

29.06.2018: Another important milestone reached

After disconnecting the overhead power lines, one pole and its corresponding cantilever per driving direction have been installed last Monday. Disconnecting electricity and installing the components went according to schedule. As of today, in northbound direction, all poles but one are in place. In southbound direction, all boreholes have been bared, and 129 footing tubes as well as 67 poles and 22 balanced weight anchors installed.

At present, the cantilevers are being pre-assembled and scheduled to be installed as of next week. Furthermore, preparations to set the dividing strip poles are under way.

Construction workers work on overhead lines on a lift

15.06.2018: Connection to Hessen Central Traffic Office impending

In northbound direction, the installation of cantilevers will be completed this week. Also, two more poles await assembling.

In southbound direction, all boreholes have been bared, as well as 55 poles, 124 footing tubes 22 balanced weight anchors installed.

Current efforts concentrate on connecting the system to the Hessen Central Traffic Office (German: VZH) wich will allow transferring system data to the traffic office in real-time.

Catenary hybrid trucks drive on the test track

08.06.2018: Track in southbound direction is taking shape

In northbound direction, no poles were erected this week. At present, the cantilevers are being attached: 62 (out of 108) are already in place. Furthermore, the first catenary wire is scheduled to be tensioned in mid-July.

Catenary wires transported by a truck

In southern direction, all bore holes save three have been cleared for installing the footing tubes. So far, 110 tubes (out of 137), 39 poles (out of 111) as well as 18 balanced weight anchors (out of 26) have been installed.

Catenary system pillars on a test track

01.06.2018: Foundations laid in dividing strip

In northbound direction, all poles are in place except for two. Currently, the cantilevers are being attached. The first catenary wire is scheduled to be tensioned in mid-July.

In southbound direction, all bore holes have been bared. So far, 90 footing tubes have been installed and 8 poles erected.

Furthermore, over the past weekend the foundations have been laid in the dividing strip.

Construction workers work on a construction site

25.05.2018: Balanced weight anchors in northbound direction complete

In northbound direction, the remaining 5 balanced weight anchors have been constructed. This is where two consecutive sections of wires meet and are secured. Hence, all 30 anchors and most of the foundations are in place.

Catenary system pillars

Over the course of this weekend, six foundations will be laid in the dividing strip of the autobahn. The work will be carried out by means of temporary nighttime work areas that will minimize the impact on running traffic.

In southbound direction, 117 bore holes have already been drilled. Likewise, 70 foundations have been laid, i. e. footing tubes installed. The first poles are scheduled to be erected as of next week.

Construction site pit

18.05.2018: Temporary wire installed to secure statics

In northern direction, 95 poles that will suspend the catenary wire above the lane of traffic. Likewise, 25 balanced weight anchors have already been constructed that will be used to secure the consecutive sections or wires. In addition to the 112 poles, a total of 30 anchors will be installed.

Catenary hybrid trucks heading north on a test track

The wire that is currently attached to the poles is no catenary wire. It is a temporary wire to secure the statics of the cantilevers that have been attached so far.

In southbound direction, there are at present 78 bore holes. The first pole is scheduled to be erected there at the end of May. In this driving direction, there will eventually be 111 poles and 30 balanced weight anchors.

Numbered post in front of a pit at a construction site

11.05.2018: Almost all poles erected in northbound direction

In driving direction of Frankfurt, only a few poles and balanced weight anchors are yet to be erected. More than 90 poles are already in place (out of a planned total of 112, plus 6 on the dividing strip). At the southern end of the track, the first cantilevers are being attached to the corresponding poles. The ELISA system is recognizingly turning into an overhead line track.

Catenary hybrid trucks heading north on a test track

In driving direction of Darmstadt, civil engineering works have started. The same steps are being taken as in the opposite direction, only with a temporal offset. At present, the footing tubes are being hammered into the ground. They will later hold the poles.

27.04.2018: Already 19 poles in place

In driving direction of Frankfurt, 19 poles and another 4 balanced weight anchors have been installed since Tuesday. Starting next week, the cantilevers will be attached to the poles simultaneously. This step will be carried out by means of additional temporary work areas.

As of next week, preparatory measures are scheduled for laying the pole foundation on the dividing strip. They also will require temporary work areas.

In driving direction of Darmstadt, the work area has been established and the works are scheduled to start next week.

24.04.2018: First pole errected

Everything has gone according to plan: The first pole was erected within about 10 minutes. The pole is 13 meters long and extends into the ground by about 1.50 meters. The catenary wire will eventually ateron be tensioned at 7 meters high. This first pole is the only one to be erected today. Starting tomorrow, an average of 5 poles per day will be placed.

The work area is located in driving direction of Frankfurt. The pole was erected near the Gräfenhausen service station and rest area today.

Construction worker at an eHighway construction site

19.04.2018: Preparatory works ahead of erecting poles

In northbound driving direction, most of the footing tubes have already been placed in the ground. The work on the remaining tubes will likely be completed before the end of this week. As a consequence, the first pole will be erected in calendar week 17.

17.04.2018: Work area established in southbound direction

Since the beginning of this week, the work area is being established in southbound driving direction (Darmstadt).

The works in northbound direction (Frankfurt) have already started 3 weeks ago. In southbound direction (Darmstadt), they will begin once the work area has been set, i. e. probably in two weeks.

Calendar weeks 15 and 16: construction works already in full swing

In calendar week 15, additional footing tubes will be hammered into the ground at the northern end of the work area (near Langen/Mörfelden). They will eventually hold the poles. Simultaneously, the holes prepared for this purpose are being filled in at the southern end (near Weiterstadt). Starting next week, the first poles will already be erected there. They are the scaffolding for the overhead power lines.

At the same time, the foundation works on the dividing strip near the Gräfenhausen service station and rest area are well underway. In this area, the poles will be placed onto the dividing strip as there is no space available to the sides. For this purpose, temporary work areas will be established in both driving directions on the upcoming weekend (13.-16.04.).

The work area is located in driving direction of Frankfurt. A total of 112 poles is scheduled to be erected in this direction, plus another 6 on the dividing strip at the Gräfenhausen service station and rest area.

Crane excavator on a construction site

Calendar weeks 13 and 14: construction works near the autobahn have started

On Monday (26.03.), Hessen Mobil cleared the construction site for the contractors. The work area is now being arranged while the first components arrive. Civil engineering works for the overhead line system are scheduled to begin the week after Easter. For this purpose, footing tubes will be hammered into the ground to eventually hold the poles.

The works will start at the southern end of the construction siteand proceed in northern direction.