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Sarens showcases heavy lifting expertise in behemoth bridge installation

Sarens lifts heavy bridges into place

Sarens has showcased its extensive fleet and heavy lifting expertise with the installation of 4400-tonne and 3650-tonne bridges in Germany.

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The two bridges, the Oberbürgermeister Karl Lehr Brücke (OBKL) and the Hafenkanalbrücke, provide the German city of Duisburg with important access across the Ruhr river, with officials saying traffic would be gridlocked and the city’s port would be deprived of primary access without the connection. Measuring in at 180m x 34m x 25m and 126m x 34m x 25m respectively, Sarens utilised its 100m long barge, 68 axle lines of SPMTs, 12 strand jacks, 24 jacking systems, bracing systems, and skidding systems.

Making life difficult for Sarens was the small operational window, limited space to set up equipment, wind restrictions and low water levels. To install the bridges, Sarens delivered and set up the equipment in six weeks, transporting everything hold the barge via 75 truckloads from various yards in Europe.

The Hafenkanalbrücke was the first bridge to be installed. The crew skidded the bridge section, using strandjacks and skidshoes, onto the barge, before the loaded barge was moved approximately 100 metres further with winch cables so that the bridge could be skidded over the barge on skidshoes installed on the island. Sarens skidded the whole bridge over the island and parked it there, between the Rhine and the port canal.

In the meantime, the barge sailed around to the port canal, where the crew skidded the bridge back onto the barge via strandjacks and a skidding system. Once it was completely loaded, winch cables moved it into its final position. The bridge was then lowered onto the abutments by means of a jacking system.

Next, the barge moved back to the Rhine to skid the OBKL bridge onboard in a similar manner. The bridge was then positioned by means of winch cables and lowered onto the abutments with a jacking system.

The team had to skid both bridges into place within a limited timeframe, in a very complex and difficult operation. To ensure safety throughout, the crew handled the bridge sections in a very slow and precise manner. Wind and water level restrictions further compounded this challenge, and the crew had to closely monitor the barge to ensure stability of the entire set-up given the low water levels and bridge sections to be installed.


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