How to move a bridge deck

Jon Lawson

Antwerp-based transport company Roll-iT NV has used an Enerpac JS-250 Jack-up system to negotiate a 300 tonne bridge deck through the Belgian canal network. Manufactured by steel construction company Aelterman, the Londenburg (London) Bridge deck was transported 50km from Ghent to Antwerp on board a Victrol canal pontoon.

As part of the Antwerp Noorderlijn transport initiative, the London Bridge on the Eilandje in Antwerp old harbour area had to be replaced with a wider bridge capable of accommodating two traffic lanes, foot and cycle paths in both directions, and a tram line in the central reservation. 
The biggest challenge facing Roll-iT was the need to lift the bridge deck over obstacles in the canal network, specifically the Kattendijkdok lock and the historic lockkeeper’s cottage and control tower of the London bridge. It was impractical to use a crane for this given the level of disruption to local traffic and services. Instead, Roll-iT opted for an Enerpac Jack-up system.
At the Aelterman steelworks, Roll-iT used a combination of 2 x 12-axle SPMTs (Self-Propelled Modular Transporter) and Enerpac JS-250 Jack-up system to lift the bridge deck and transport it onto the Victrol pontoon. After the bridge deck was loaded, the Jack-up towers were fully lowered and securely fastened to increase the pontoon’s stability. 
Enerpac’s JS-Series Jack-up system is a multi-point lifting system comprising four Jack-up towers, one positioned under each corner of a load. The lifting frame of each Jack-up tower contains four hydraulic cylinders, which lift and stack steel barrels. The load is lifted in increments as barrels are inserted via an automated system, lifted, and stacked, forming the lifting towers. The JS-250 has a lifting capacity of 1,000T (250T per tower), up to 10m.
The ability to raise the bridge deck to 10m was important. Avoiding various obstacles when entering and leaving the Kattendijkdok lock and the height of the London Bridge lockkeepers cottage, meant that Roll-iT needed to raise the bridge deck 7.5m to ensure complete clearance.
Roll-iT account and project manager Tom Van Runckelen commented, “Using the Enerpac Jack-up system increased our lifting options when we were considering how we might overcome the obstacles encountered using the canal network route. It was very stable and surprisingly quick. Raising and lowering the bridge deck was completed in a fraction of the time we’d expected.”

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