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Jacking, load-out and installation of a 1,225t bridge, Belgium


ALE, who worked together with Iemants, has successfully jacked-up, loaded-out and installed a bridge over the Albert Canal in Zolder, Belgium.


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The bowstring-designed bridge weighed 1,225t and measured 19.8m wide and 124.3m long.

Four 10m load spreading mats were placed beneath each corner bearing location, the load spreading needed to guarantee the loads to be below the maximum allowed ground loadings. The ALE Jack ā€˜Nā€™ Pack system was mounted upon each load spreading mats.

This system uses four 500t capacity jacks with 600mm stroke. The bridge consisted of two main girders without concrete / asphalt deck present.

For additional stability, the jacking system was braced during the operation.

Once the bridge was jacked-up to 7.5m at the end supports, ALE positioned two SPMT configurations at 40m centres, using four mast sections to primarily support the load onto the SPMT.

Two 24 axle lines of SPMTs in a 2 x 4 file 6 configuration were used to transport and load-out the bridge. Each 4 file 6 configuration was interconnected using bracing pipes, connecting beams, and strand wires. The strand wires were then tensioned as the load was applied. Once positioned and load applied, the frontal jacking system was removed to allow for the load-out.

A 66m x 23m barge was moored against the canal side and eight RORO ramps were attached. Once the barge was in place and ballasted to the right condition, the bridge was transported a short distance and loaded-out onto the barge. The load-out operation took three hours, with continual ballasting and monitoring.

Once SPMT and the bridge were in the correct position, the barge was moved into place with bearing positions aligned above the bridge abutment support positions. In order to install the bridge, ALE ballasted the barge to lower the bridge into place and remove the barge from underneath.

It took ALE 12 days to complete the mobilisation and demobilisations of the equipment, jack-up, load-out and installation of the bridge.

The bridge is intended to divert traffic from the Westlaan motorway, primarily to allow for the future height increase of the adjacent Industriestraat E314 road bridge. The overall government initiative is to increase the height of bridges along the Albert Canal so that an additional layer of containers can be transported upon vessels along the waterway underneath. This is just one of the multiple bridges then have either been replaced or heightened to meet this requirement.


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