Dutch heavy lift company Mammoet has successfully positioned a 1,100-tonne section of a bridge over the Rhine in the German city of Leverkusen.
The bridge, which carries the A1 motorway, is being upgraded to eight lanes in one of the largest and most challenging infrastructure projects in North Rhine–Westphalia.
Hannover-based SEH Engineering contracted Mammoet to move the 66m-long section to the installation position, with the added requirement that it be carried out as quickly as possible.
The usual option of using climbing jacks to raise the section was not possible owing to the bridge’s slope, and the length of time that would be required.
The alternative solution developed by Mammoet was to raise the section some distance from the installation site, drive it into position and set it down in a single manoeuvre.
The work was carried out by lifting the load with four of Mammoet’s Mega Jack 500s, which work by the insertion of cassettes at ground level, thereby reducing the need for work at height and manual handling.
Once it had been raised to the desired height, three 24-axle SPMTs (self-propelled modular transporters) were used to carry the section 300m to the site, then lifted several metres further so that it could be driven over the abutments, before being lowered and installed.
Throughout the operation, engineers on site monitored live load read-outs from the Mega Jack 500 system, ensuring every stage of the operation matched its planning phase.
According to Mammoet, the team completed the work on schedule and the highway section reopened to traffic on the planned date.
The new Rhine bridge is scheduled for completion at the end of 2023.