Switzerland constructs second wooden-roofed wildlife overpass

Render (Photo: Timbatec)

Having completed the Rynetel Wildlife Overpass in Suhr last September, the Swiss Federal Roads Office “FEDRO” is already building the second wildlife overpass featuring a wooden roof over the A2 near Neuenkirch. Timbatec planned this structure as sub-planner of the engineering consortium IG 2B with B + S AG and Bänziger Partner AG. Since 28 March 2021, installation of the wooden beams have been underway.

The overpass is being constructed over the A2 near Neuenkirch (Photo: Timbatec)

Construction work for this second wildlife overpass with a wooden superstructure has been underway since summer 2020. In the meantime, the central support and the concrete abutment walls have been constructed.

In the next work step, the wooden girders will be installed to cover the roadway. For the timber construction work, traffic routing has to be changed at night. From 28 March 2021 until presumably mid-May 2021, traffic will be routed in one lane at night.

The work is dependent on weather conditions. In the first phase, the wooden beams will be inserted, the ceiling constructed and the sealing laid over the roadway in the direction of Gotthard. For these works, traffic is expected to be restricted to a single lane in the direction of Basel for 15 nights. The same work will then be carried out in the direction of Basel. During the day, two lanes will be available in each direction.

The wildlife overpass will have a width of 50 metres and a length of around 36 metres. The clear height is 4.80 metres. The structure is well integrated into the landscape and is largely made of wood that is sourced locally.

A wooden superstructure makes sense from an ecological point of view as wood stores large amounts of CO₂ thanks to photosynthesis. To ensure fast and smooth assembly, all beams were prefabricated at “neue Holzbau AG” in Lungern, pre-assembled and delivered to the construction site just in time. Timbatec is responsible for the statics and the construction of this building.

From the beginning of Swiss summer, drivers will see this bridge portal before they pass under the wooden bridge. The costs for the wildlife overpass amount to around 10.7 million Swiss francs.