Modern bobsleigh track for the ‘St. Moritz of the North’With the stepless adjustable TTR - Circular trapezoidal girder formwork from PASCHAL, the dream of a perfectly curved bobsleigh track becomes reality.
Schierke, a tourist destination in the Harz region also known as the 'St. Moritz of the North', now features a modern, 300 m long bobsleigh track with six curves.
After the old run, which had been built in 1969 under the supervision of the GDR border troops, was dismantled, reconstruction began in the summer of 2020. The basis of the bobsleigh track construction, as planned by the engineering firm of Gurgel und Partner, is a shotcrete structure covered with a plastic coating.
Left and right, the TTR Circular trapezoidal girder formwork with plywood by PASCHAL gives the new bobsleigh track its exhilarating form.
A lively and precise run into the valley
To create the shapes on this project, PASCHAL's regular customer pairing, STRATIE Bau GmbH and Umwelttechnik & Wasserbau GmbH, operating here as consortium, mainly used TTR Circular trapezoidal girder formwork with plywood. According to Andreas Köhler, site foreman for Umwelttechnik & Wasserbau GmbH, this stepless adjustable circular formwork meant that it was simplicity itself to produce the precise shape of the 6 curves, some of which consisted of 5 to 6 different radii.
In order to prepare the concrete work, the consortium relied on the planning and works preparation department at the PASCHAL head office in Steinach and the PASCHAL branch office in Leipzig. This is where the plans were made for the formwork that had to take into account not only the curve specifications but also the terrain topography.
In order to faithfully follow the steep incline of the bobsleigh track while executing the formwork for the sides, a 5cm filler was placed between each TTR Circular trapezoidal girder formwork segment so that the height of the following segments could be adjusted up or down as necessary. Consequently all the formwork segments were positioned vertically, which made calibration and alignment on the slope much easier, as the hilly, uneven and steep terrain meant that only one excavator could be deployed on the construction site for lifting work.
Some of the TTR Circular trapezoidal girder formwork panels with wooden plywood were supported by site, and some were back-anchored with a short tie rod in the 32.5 cm thick reinforced concrete slab.
Individual footings were constructed over the entire course in advance, followed by sloping blinding concrete as the subbase for the reinforced concrete base slab. The sides were then shuttered and the shotcrete coating applied by U&W Blankenburg.
On the inner sides of the curves, the job was done with formwork panels 37.5 cm high; on the outer curve sides, the TTR formwork panels had to be 150 cm high. According to the work preparation, the project called for just under 175 m² of TTR Circular trapezoidal girder formwork with wooden plywood, a small number of accessories and the radius adjustment templates. Telescopic girders were used at the base of the formwork to compensate for the gradient.
On the left side of the photo, 150 cm panels of the TTR Circular trapezoidal girder formwork with plywood are lined up side by side. On the right side of the run and photo, 37.5 cm high TTR formwork panels, supported with the slab edge formwork brackets from the PASCHAL range can be seen.
The straight sections with a height of about 30 cm were produced with hired PASCHAL slab edge formwork brackets and plywood supplied on site.
In order to be certain of meeting the desired autumn 2021 completion deadline, most often 2 separate curves were completely shuttered, reinforced and concreted at the same time. To ensure that the low dimensional tolerances were maintained, steel jigs were incorporated in the body of the track.
For the sprayed concrete, Umwelttechnik & Wasserbau GmbH NL Blankenburg used a slow curing shotcrete which remained workable long enough to allow manual post-processing.
The curvatures were rubbed smooth in long and painstaking manual work using specially manufactured flexible trowels and rubbing boards.
As a respected construction company which adheres to very high quality standards, U&W also engaged local construction experts for the bobsleigh track project. Indeed not only the client, the Schierker Rodel- und Bobsportverein 1908 e.V., but also many sponsors, such as the Harz regional administration and the town of Wernigerode, have great hope that the winter sports attraction will bring fresh interest to the St. Moritz of the North.
The project was completed on 5 November 2021. After one-and-a-half years of construction, the Schierke bobsleigh track was inaugurated with a scorching test run by luge athlete Tatjana Hüfner, the 2010 Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion.
A perfectly formed structure is now ready to take bobsleigh enthusiasts on an exciting ride down into the valley.