Challenging Tail Bridge Lifts Made From Barges
It was nearly a year ago when industrial contractor, Hollandia Infra, contacted its trusted heavy lifting and engineering transport specialist, The Sarens Group, to discuss an intricate project involving the Queen Maxima Bridge.
Crossing the Old Rhine River at Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands, the planned new structure included a balanced tail bridge design, where the tails contain counterweights that ensure smooth opening and closing of bridge segments, allowing tall vessels to pass through.
The project called for lifting and positioning of the two main balanced tail bridge segments weighing in excess of 280 tonnes (310 tons) from barges on the Old Rhine River.
We knew there would be much planning and we would need a high capacity crane to successfully complete this heavy lifting project,
says Robin van Oss, Project Engineer for Sarens.
Adding to the complexity, there was a narrow navigation channel through which barges carrying Sarens’ specialized lifting equipment had to pass.
The required crane and supporting equipment would enter the river at Dordrecht, NL, and navigate nearly 50 km upstream to the bridge project site.
The top challenge for working on water was the narrow, 11.4-m (37.4-ft) wide passage in some parts,
mentions van Oss.
The crane chosen with its track length just narrowly fitting channel requirements, the Demag CC 3800-1 lattice boom crawler crane offered the right combination of compact footprint and heavy lift capacity required for this job.
Sarens team members invested many months planning for the challenging lift. Because the hoists would take place from barges, the crane equipment needed to remain stationary on the floating bases, while tugboats and mooring lines did all the manoeuvring.
The plan was to rig and position the CC 3800-1 crane in the correct set-up on the barges, and the crane would be used like a sheerleg,
explains van Oss.
In addition to the Demag crane, Sarens’s plan called for a 100-tonne capacity mobile crane for lift support, a twin barge configuration and strand jacks.