Ready to Connect
Across the Asphalt to Terminal 3

Building Connections

Not only large structures and ramps, but also roads are increasingly taking shape to link Terminal 3 to the A5 motorway, CargoCity South, and various operational zones via a network of roads totaling around 10 kilometers in length. The Zeppelinheim cloverleaf interchange on the A5 motorway is also being enlarged to facilitate access, and an additional 142-meter-long vehicle bridge across the motorway is being built a few hundred meters further south.

Arrival Without Traffic Backing Up

To prevent arriving and departing road traffic from backing up, also during rush hours, the Zeppelinheim interchange is being expanded. The exit for vehicles coming from the south is gaining an additional lane, and a new on-ramp is being added for northbound traffic. The preparations included moving about 80,000 cubic meters of earth and laying around 20 kilometers of supply lines: that’s roughly the distance in a straight line between Frankfurt Airport and the city of Mainz.

The Zeppelinheim motorway access point takes shape.

The first tasks for enlarging the Zeppelin interchange include creating on- and off-ramps for traffic heading to and coming from Terminal 3 and CargoCity South.    

These massive piles will support ramps for use by traffic heading to Terminal 3.   

By April 2021, many of the concrete foundations for the new bridge were already taking shape on the A5, shown here with the terminal construction site in the background.

The A5 motorway is blocked on several weekends to lift bridge sections into place.   (Photograph: Bickardt Bau)

Brief Road Closure

A deep foundation comprising a total of 71 piles on both sides of the motorway stabilizes the future bridge pillars, with six more piles in the middle for added stability. Just like the new terminal building is being built without interrupting airport operations, it was essential to keep traffic flowing on the A5 motorway while the bridges were being constructed. It was also important to have enough room to work. One side of the motorway was therefore blocked off to cars and trucks part of the time to let the mobile cranes do their thing. They lifted steel components and prefabricated concrete sections into place, among other things. Construction workers then connected them with mortar and special high-strength steel bolts with heads that look like flat mushrooms. Cast in place concrete was then poured on top.

The Zeppelinheim Interchange Begins Operating

The road connections associated with this construction project of superlatives also boast remarkable figures. By the time the expanded Zeppelinheim interchange finally opened for traffic in June 2023 after three years of work, it integrated four kilometers of guardrails, 950 tonnes of bridge steel, and 760 tonnes of concrete rebars. Eight kilometers of newly placed markings now also guide motorists. (Drive with project head Axel Kirn on the roads of the Zeppelinheim interchange as it is taking shape.)

The first bridge structure of the future access road for Terminal 3, level with the InterCity Hotel, just before completion.

Not only the large structures and ramps, but also the roads in front of Terminal 3 are taking shape.

The new road network has a total length of about 10 kilometers.

Closing Ranks

The view from the A5 motorway is also changing: the new Sky Line people mover line runs parallel to it, and a completely new public road is also being built. A traffic circle will connect it to Hugo-Eckener-Ring and Gateway Gardens in the north. Ellis Road, which runs alongside the motorway, will continue past the monument to the Berlin Airlift while only veering slightly away toward the interior of the airport. The new network of roads, with a total length of 10 kilometers, will connect the new terminal with the motorway, CargoCity South, and the airport’s operational zones.

Linking the terminals

Ten kilometers of new roads connect Terminal 3 to the A5 motorway, the other two terminals, and Cargo City South. After the new terminal begins operating, travelers and visitors will be able to conveniently get from the Zeppelinheim motorway interchange to the drive-by platform right in front of the main terminal building.