The skiable bridge linking the base stations of the Flexenbahn and Albonabahn II gondolas spans 700 meters (2,300 ft), crossing parking lots, meadows and a main road. Photos: BRANDNER
For when it gets difficult
Power lines obstructing cranes, merging construction pits or old lines built in compliance with even older standards: When things start getting complex, many summon Andreas Brandner.
Andreas Brandner can justifiably be termed a cable transport specialist. For more than 30 years, the Tyrolean has been in the industry covering cable transport system construction, geotechnology, protective structures, construction organization and constructional engineering. His in-depth knowledge particularly on the relevant standards for cable transport systems as well as his rich experience gathered in numerous challenging projects make him an expert for difficult and complex projects.
Brander and his team of five engineers have recently implemented the Flexenbahn-Albonabahn II project, a particularly challenging construction project. Since the 2016/17 winter season, Flexenbahn gondola on Trittkopf Mountain in Tyrol, Austria, links the Zürs and Stuben/ Rauz ski resorts. Concurrently, across the same valley the Albonabahn II gondola was also built and connected to Flexenbahn with a 700 meter (2,300 ft) skiable bridge.
The principals Flexenbahn GmbH and Stubner FV GmbH trusted in Brandner Engineering’s comprehensive knowhow. Complete project implementation for both gondola lines as well as the bridge was taken care of by the Innsbruck- based engineers. Only the line and upper station of Flexenbahn was designed by Flexenbahn GmbH.
CEO Tourism Company Stuben
“Particularly for the design
of the base stations on
Alpe Rauz, Andreas
competences and rich
experience were indispensible!“
The reason for employing BRANDER was that the two base stations, the route for Albonabahn II and the bridge imposed serious spatial challenges. “We had to make room for a lot of construction mass in not much space at all. The construction pits of both stations merged, sensibly situating all construction elements was difficult”, Andreas Brandner recalls.
The construction pits of the two base stations merged.
Building a bridge in three days
Both pits needed to be secured using soil nail walls. As though the construction pits both busy at the same time had not been enough of a challenge, the supporting structure of the concrete bridge needed to be erected in the space of three days so that trucks were able to get to the construction site. A power line for the Austrian rail network also greatly limited the available room to move.
“Two other power lines posed a challenge as these crossed the route of the Albonabahn II gondola”, says Brandner. The topology along the route necessitated the removal and anti-slip redisposal of big masses of soil. And, of course, at times there was adverse weather with a lot of snow still on the construction site in mid-May and torrential rains in October hampering work.
Adverse weather in October hampered construction of the bridge.
Saving at license renewals
Brandner was nevertheless able to finish the project on schedule after six months and to return to his work developing cable transport standards at the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). Brandner‘s expertise on old and new regulations is not only useful when drafting new standards for the industry; it also frequently helps lift operators save money. “With my help, old lines often require only moderate modifications to obtain renewed licenses”, says Brandner.