The Magdeburg Water Bridge over the Elbe River, part of the German Unification Transport Projects programme, closes a gap that was meant to be closed in the 1930s. The war, however, prevented the implementation of this historic engineering feat. Since its completion in 2003, ships can cross Germany from the east and west without having to drop down to the Elbe River and then rise again to the Mittelland Canal.
paving the way
The longest European canal bridge was completed in only three years. About 24,000 tons of steel, three times the amount used in the Eiffel Tower, were required for its construction. The onshore part of the bridge allows water of the Elbe River to pass during a flood. The special dimensions of the bridge required special constructions for supports and joints. Trusses and pylons resembling ship cross sections impart an unexpected lightness to the structure.
creating construction culture
Rapid and safe passage for ships. An attraction for residents and tourists alike. Recreational benefits due to pedestrian and cycle paths on both sides of the canal. Highly photogenic when illuminated at dusk. Many awards received. Reunifying.
Year of completion
Type of intervention
Type of structure
Construction material of superstructure
Concrete, prestressed concrete, steel
Type of structural system
16 x 42,85 m + 57,10 m + 106,20 m + 57,10 m
Prof. Bernhard Winking Architekten BDA, Hamburg
Preliminary design, detailed design, building inspection, feasibility studies