U81, metropolitan railway, section 1

City rail bridge with brains

connecting people

The first construction phase of city rail line U81 connects Düsseldorf airport with the city rail network. A win–win situation: the business location is strengthened, the quality of life improved due to the extension of the public transportation network. Score! In less than ten minutes you can reach the Düsseldorf football stadium – one of the venues of the 2024 European Football Championship – and Messe Düsseldorf from Germany’s third-busiest passenger airport.

paving the way

The central part of the first construction phase is the bridge over the Nordstern transport hub. It will be a semi-integral bridge – a welded steel superstructure with a truss at the top clamped into the abutments and freely moveable supports on the intermediate piers. The lateral movement of the superstructure due to thermal expansion creates a ‘breathing bridge’ – the first railway bridge of its kind.

creating construction culture

A sensor-based structural health monitoring system records structural reactions such as deformations, strains, settlements and temperatures and transmits them in real time. Digitalisation is making bridges smart. The Nordstern Bridge deals with the complex four-level traffic intersection in a dynamic and intelligent way. The superstructure diverts the gaze from the chaos of the traffic to this pinnacle of modern bridge construction.

Year of completion

In progress

Type of intervention

New construction

Contracting authority

Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf

Bridge over Nordstern
Bridge Tor 1
Railway station airport
Ramp airport
Tunnel airport


The first section of the Metropolitan railways U81 runs from the stop Freiligrathplatz to the railway station Airport Terminal. The overall length is 1.891 m. The section includes the following buildings:

  • Stop Freiligrathplatz (extension of exisiting structure)
  • Ramp Lilienthalstraße
  • Bridge over the Nordstern
  • Dam structure
  • Bridge at the Tor 1
  • Tunnel ramp
  • Running tunnel
  • Railways station airport terminal
  • Acoustic barriers and retaining walls




SOP (U-Bahnhof), Reinhart + Partner (Brücke über den Nordstern)

Services Grassl

Basic assessment, preliminary design, detailed design, planning for approval, construction planning, preparation of tendering, assistance for tendering, conceptual design of traffic infrastructure, visualisation, monitoring

Services provided by engineering consortium

Latest news about the project

Lecture about the U81 city rail bridge in Düsseldorf

At the conference for bridge construction and road infrastructure held on 10 and 11 November 2022 in Düsseldorf ...

Company outing to the major project

The first construction phase of the new U81 city rail line, which will connect Düsseldorf Airport to the urban city rail network, is currently under construction ...

Construction starts at the Nordstern Bridge

Construction for the new U81 city rail line in Düsseldorf has started …