In the vicinity of Ramstein Air Base near Kaiserslautern in Rhineland-Palatinate, a groundbreaking project is underway to build the largest U.S. military hospital outside of the USA. The new facility, designed with a distinctive curved facade resembling the U.S. flag, is set to replace the 1953-built U.S. Army hospital in Landstuhl. With over 4,000 rooms, 120 treatment rooms and nine operating theaters across 90,000 square meters, this modern hospital is a testament to cutting-edge healthcare infrastructure.
Overseeing this monumental construction is the ARGE U.S.-Klinikum Weilerbach consortium, comprising Ed. Züblin AG and Gilbane, with the assistance of 13 WOLFF cranes. Despite facing challenges, including aviation permits due to its proximity to Ramstein Air Base, the project achieved significant milestones by mid-May 2023.
Another challenge in the construction preparation was the foundation of the cranes. “Due to the highly heterogeneous subsoil, consisting of several soil layers, exploratory drilling was carried out at each crane site,” explained Daniel Rüttinger, who is responsible for process planning and construction operations at Ed. Züblin AG. The buoyancy caused by rising groundwater, existing pipes, and the compatibility of the concrete foundations with naturally occurring radon in the ground also had to be taken into account when laying the crane foundations.
The fleet of WOLFF cranes, a combination of classics and new additions, includes models with lifting capacities ranging from 6.0 to 16.5 tons. Notably, the WOLFF 262 SL, a classic dating back to 1989, exemplifies the durability of WOLFF cranes. Until the project's completion in 2024, the cranes will handle diverse tasks, supporting the construction of this state-of-the-art hospital catering to wounded soldiers and providing care for U.S.-military personnel and their families in Europe.