Levensau high bridges

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Coordinates: 54 ° 22 ′ 4 ″  N , 10 ° 4 ′ 33 ″  E

Levensau high bridge
Levensau high bridge
High bridges in front of the widening of the canal (2005), the first / southwest is clearly visible in the foreground, the second directly behind
use Rail and road transport
Subjugated Kiel Canal
place Kiel - Neuwittenbek
construction wrought iron arch bridge
Longest span 163 m
Clear height 42 m
start of building 1893
completion 1894
Status Modernized in 1954
planner Wilhelm H. Lauter , Hermann Muthesius
Levensau high bridges (Schleswig-Holstein)
Levensau high bridges

As part of the federal highway 76 that span Levensau bridges the Kiel Canal at Kiel . The high bridges are between Suchsdorf and Neuwittenbek , OT Levensau. The eastern one is used by around 23,000 vehicles / day at up to 100 km / h, the western one by around 2,000 vehicles / day and an average of around 200 cyclists / day at up to 50 km / h and 76 trains / working day.


The bridges get their name from a small cluster of about ten houses that is northwest of the bridge. This in turn takes its name from the Levensau river , which flowed along here until 1784 and was then expanded into the Eider Canal . Until the Kiel Canal was built, the Kiel - Eckernförde road crossed the Eider Canal on a Dutch bascule bridge , the Levensauer . The new Levensau high bridge, built approx. 650 meters to the northeast, was named after the old bridge location.

The railway - route Kiel-Flensburg crossed the channel 1881 to 1894 on a swing bridge , two kilometers west (approximate coordinates: 54 ° 21 '35.3 "  N , 10 ° 2' 51"  O ) was. The Eider Canal, in turn, was expanded into the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal in 1893 . In the original planning of the canal, a new swing bridge was to be built west of the old swing bridge for rail traffic. During a visit to the canal construction site in 1891, Kaiser Wilhelm I decided that instead of the planned swing bridge and a ferry for road traffic, a high bridge should also be built in Levensau, as in Grünenthal .

First bridge

Bridge around 1900
Heraldic shield imperial eagle , 2019

The road and railway bridge was built from 1893 to 1894, the Kiel-Flensburg railway and road keel Eckernförde to lead through the Kiel Canal. The canal was not yet completed at the time, but at this point it was already filled with fresh water to replace the Eider Canal. The excavation from the canal had therefore already been used for other purposes and could no longer be used for the access dams to the bridges. The falsework stood on piles driven into the canal, between which two 11 meter wide passages had to be kept free for shipping.

The wrought-iron superstructure of the arch bridge was designed by Lauter from Frankfurt am Main, but only to the extent that the bidders could be given a sufficient basis for calculation in the tender . The superstructure was carried out by Gutehoffnungshütte in Oberhausen . The Levensauer Hochbrücke has the largest span of the original canal bridges with approx. 163 meters , the clear height above the canal is approx. 42 meters in the middle of the bridge.

Kaiser Wilhelm II praised the building as the most beautiful bridge over the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal, named after his grandfather . Originally, four towers formed two gates over the abutments, the architectural design of these solid structures was designed by the architect and Prussian construction officer Hermann Muthesius . He also designed the four 3 × 6 meter coats of arms of the imperial eagle , which were made of sandstone and attached to the four outer sides of the towers.

As a result, there was space on the bridge itself for a tavern and even a small train station, where trains stopped well into the 1960s.

Panorama Levensauer Hochbrücke

The two arches that form the main girders of the bridge superstructure are riveted , double - jointed truss arches made of welded iron with vertical posts and crossing diagonals between the chords. In contrast to the sickle arch of the Grünentaler Hochbrücke , the arch has the smallest construction height of 3.2 m at the apex and the largest of 5.6 m near the transom joints . The upper chord describes an arc with a radius of 176.84 m and the lower chord an arc with a radius of 160.17 m. The arch ends are shaped like a half round and butt against joint plates made of cast steel.

The roadway ran in a horizontal framework, the lower chords of which ran just below the apex of the arch, the upper chords, however, clearly above the clearance profile of the railway. It was not the lower, but the upper chords that were mounted on the truss arches in such a way that changes in shape of the arches and the roadway due to temperature fluctuations and load changes could occur largely independently of one another.

The track had a railway track arranged on its eastern edge, so that a second track could have been laid. A footpath separated by a railing ran along the western edge. The carriage traffic, which initially consisted of carriages and wagons , shared the lane with the railroad. When there was train traffic, the wagon traffic on the road in front of the bridge had to be blocked.

The ceremonial opening of the Levensau high bridge took place on December 3, 1894 in the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Modernization 1954

Levensau high bridge

In 1954 the bridge was modernized. The sidewalk and bike path were relocated to the side in front of the western arch, so that there was enough space between the arches for a railroad track and two separate lanes for road traffic. The towers with their arches and the framework arranged horizontally above the track and roadway were removed. The bridgeheads with the abutments and the iron arches have been preserved from the original bridge . Several granite blocks were used for a cross on the new Eckernförde cemetery in the area of ​​the area of ​​honor for the fallen of World War II . The four heraldic shields of the imperial eagle on the sides of the tower were also dismantled in 1954 and placed on a pedestal on the lock island in Kiel-Holtenau in 1995, and a second imperial eagle was attached to the wall of the gate bunker of the large southern chamber of the Holtenau lock.

The superstructure for the roadway of the district road and the one railroad track as well as for the one-sided footpath and bike path is now elevated or attached directly to the truss arches. The carriageway level is 42 m long below the apex of the arches.

Several thousand bats hibernate in the two abutments of the old bridge every year . The great noctule bat forms the largest group . The Levensauer Hochbrücke is currently the largest known winter quarters in Central Europe for this species.

Road bridge from 1984

Both bridges
Bridge from 1984 under construction

A new four-lane bridge was opened in 1984 for motor vehicle traffic . It is located east of the old bridge and replaced it as part of the B 76 . It has two lanes and one hard shoulder for each direction of travel. As in the further southern course of the B76, the speed on it is limited to 100 km / h. North of the bridge you can drive at a speed of 120 km / h to the end of the separate lanes. In 2010, the entire road surface as well as the railings and guard rails were renewed in a construction phase lasting several months.

Collision of the Wilma with the bridge

On December 7, 2006, a crane boom from the heavy lift carrier Wilma collided with the bridge. The bridge was then repaired and was closed until the end of February 2007.

New bridge, construction preparations since 2018

Due to the advanced age of the old Levensau high bridge to be replaced, a new construction has been considered for a long time. A new bridge is more economical than upgrading the old bridge for another twenty years. The required clearance of 42 meters above the water level is only achieved in the middle of the old bridge, which is why it currently defines the narrowest point in the Kiel Canal. As part of the new bridge construction, the habitat of the above-mentioned bat population is to be preserved. Since the foundation work and embankments for a new building between the existing bridges are causing settlement problems, the new building will be built on the previous bridge route. The old bridge is to be dismantled during the construction of the new bridge. The new arches will serve as scaffolding and a new bridge will be built on the existing route using the south pillar of the old bridge.

During construction, the existing bridge will serve as scaffolding for the erection of the two new arches. After the old bridge has been torn down, the new carriageway is to be hooked into the 210 meter long bridge.

The construction of the construction site on the south side of the canal began in spring 2018, there is an entrance and exit to the construction site field from both sides of the B 76.

From April 1, 2019 to April 30 or May 10, 2019, a bus shuttle was set up for pedestrians and cyclists, which runs every half hour from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and runs every hour until midnight between Suchsdorf on the south bank and Neuwittenbek on the North bank connected.

From April 15, 2019 to September 1, 2019, the old bridge was closed to motor vehicles. From April 22 to May 5, 2019, cyclists and pedestrians were also not allowed to use the bridge. The bridge was closed to rail traffic from July 1 to August 10.

The new bridge is scheduled to be Template: future / in 4 yearscompleted in 2024 .


  • Fülscher: Construction of the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal. In: Zeitschrift für Bauwesen , Volume 49, 1899, Issues I to III, p. 103. ( Digitized PDF 680 kB, on kobv.de)
  • Koch: The high bridge over the Kiel Canal near Levensau. In: Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung , Volume 14, 1894, No. 49 (from December 8, 1894), p. 508. ( digitized version of the Berlin Central and State Library) on kobv.de
  • Some Notable German Arch Bridges . In: Scientific American , Vol. LXXX, No. 12 (March 25th, 1899)

Web link

Commons : Levensauer Hochbrücke  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b 1902 KfZ / 24h DTV (2009) Document 5-4-1 Planning approval procedure Replacement construction of the old Levensau high bridge and expansion of the Kiel Canal NOK-Km 93.2 - 94.2 Traffic census, PDF
  2. On dry days in the April to October cycling season, an average of 390 cyclists / 24 hours are accepted for the Levensauer Hochbrücke from Mondays to Fridays, 280 on Saturdays and 210 on Sundays and public holidays Average of all days of the year 40% thereof.
  3. Map with the old railway line and the road to Eckernförde.
  4. ^ Hannelore Pieper-Wöhlk: Railway swing bridge Levensau. The Kiel Canal: the history of a century-old building. P. 14 , accessed on February 12, 2015 .
  5. ^ Hannelore Pieper-Wöhlk: Railway swing bridge Levensau. The Kiel Canal: the history of a century-old building. P. 14 , accessed on February 12, 2015 .
  6. Levensau bridge at the WSV
  7. a b c d Fülscher: Construction of the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal. In: Zeitschrift für Bauwesen , Volume XLIX, 1899, Issues I to III, p. 103 ( digital copy PDF 680 kB, on kobv.de)
  8. Kiel Canal Bridges: Lost Landmarks of a Baltic Sea City 1800/2000. ( MS Word ; 29 kB) (No longer available online.) Formerly in the original ; Retrieved April 20, 2011 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / buchverlag.boyens-medien.de  
  9. a b Koch: The high bridge over the Kiel Canal near Levensau. In: Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung , Volume XIV, No. 49 (from December 8, 1894), p. 508 ( digitized version of the Central and State Library Berlin) on kobv.de
  10. Information board of the federal waterways and shipping administration next to the imperial eagle on the lock area in Kiel-Holtenau.
  11. ^ Friedrich Standfuß, Joachim Naumann: Bridges in Germany II. Deutscher Bundes-Verlag, Cologne 2007, ISBN 3-935064-46-2 , p. 56
  12. The Levensau high bridge in Kiel-Suchsdorf - winter quarters on the Kiel Canal for 6,000 bats. NABU , February 27, 2015, accessed August 4, 2017 .
  13. a b c d Old Levensauer Hochbrücke is being rebuilt. (PDF, 61 kB) Waterways and Shipping Office Kiel-Holtenau , July 14, 2009, accessed on August 15, 2009 .
  14. ^ Investigation report of the serious marine casualty - contact of an on-board crane - on the MS WILMA. Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation , accessed on April 10, 2017 .
  15. ^ NOK bridge free again at the end of February , In: Daily port report , January 16, 2007
  16. Kieler Nachrichten: Bridge over the bridge as a new landmark ( Memento from July 15, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  17. a b Planning start for a new bridge . In: Daily port report of July 25, 2012, p. 3
  18. Levensauer Hochbrücke: Construction will start in 2018 at the earliest . Schleswig-Holsteinischer Zeitungsverlag, September 25, 2014, accessed on March 28, 2015
  19. The days of the Levensauer Hochbrücke are already numbered. Kieler Nachrichten , July 14th, 2009, archived from the original on July 18th, 2012 ; accessed on August 4, 2017 .
  20. ^ Levensauer Hochbrücke: Alte Dame turns 120 ( Memento from April 6, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) NDR
  21. It's getting serious in spring. October 5, 2018, accessed December 15, 2018 .
  22. ^ WSA Kiel schedule
  23. KN
  24. WSV press release
  25. ^ WSA Kiel Preparatory Measures
  26. It's getting serious in spring. Retrieved March 27, 2019 .