The new Benninghoven plant in Wittlich, Germany, is being built over a sizable area of nearly 77 acres for 130 million Euros. One thing is sure: It will stand on a firm foundation, because Wirtgen soil stabilizers and Hamm rollers created the load-bearing base for it.
First up on the site were the civil engineers. A key part of their task was to create level and load-bearing surfaces for the 645,835-square-foot production and logistics hall, the 129,167-square-foot central building with offices and the traffic routes. The terrain was completely remodeled and stabilized to that end.
“The height difference was originally around 86 to 97 feet. Leveling the area required removing and replacing some 523,180 cubic yards of soil,” explains Heinrich Plein, Production Engineer at Benninghoven and member of the internal construction site management team. He is delighted that the site is getting a little bit closer to the desired form each day, because his sights are firmly fixed on the goal. “We are laying the ground for an advanced production facility that will enable us to manufacture premium mixing plants in higher quantities than before. That’s why quality has been a key con cern right from the start — and the base is where it all begins.”
Quality from A-Z
Playing the main roles in this foundation work are two Wirtgen soil stabilizers and up to six Hamm compactors. The team from EBS Bodenstabilisierungs GmbH used the soil stabilizers to expertly mix in a lime-cement mixture tailored to the soil quality in up to 12 layers, each nearly 16 inches deep.
EBS proprietor Jürgen Scharnbach specialized in soil stabilization and improvement 35 years ago — and is still successful and highly satisfied with Wirtgen equipment. “The Wirtgen soil stabilizers are the best on the market, particularly in terms of working speed, longevity and handling.”
Once the binder had been mixed in, civil engineering general contractor Strabag AG had Hamm compactors waiting in the wings for the all-important compaction work. The first passes were completed by multiple compactors with padfoot drums working in pairs or trios. Two further compactors with smooth drums then saw to the final compaction.
The result was convincing. “All the load-bearing capacity and compaction values measured met the requirements of the construction contract. The individual layers are even, smooth and have no cracks — a textbook example,” according to Eduard Weber, Building Material Inspector with sbt, the road and concrete construction lab charged with quality assurance.
Tried-and-tested brand duo hits the mark
Site Managers Kristina Fischer and Siena Schneider of Strabag AG are also highly satisfied with the work produced by the machines, because “so far only heavy frost and pouring rain have held up our plans. Unlike the stabilizing equipment from Wirtgen and Hamm. The machines work perfectly and reliably, so we don‘t need to worry. That’s the way it should be.”
Coming full circle
It was matter of honor that the subsequent asphalting work for Benninghoven was also performed with Wirtgen Group machines. So it was fitting that one of the first ever Benninghoven asphalt mixing plants — constructed in Ürzig more than 30 years ago and owned by Juchem — delivered the asphalt for the paths, roads, parking and storage areas on the new grounds, and that this was then paved and compacted using Wirtgen Group technologies.