Kieldrecht Lock In Belgium
Sarens Installs Two 1.600-Tonne Bridges Across Kieldrecht Lock In Belgium
February 2020

Sarens recently transported and installed two new bridges across the Kieldrecht Lock in Belgium, working on behalf of client Aelterman. Opened in June of 2016, the Kieldrecht Lock is the world's largest lock, and provides access to the port of Antwerp. 

This wasn't Sarens' first time installing bridges that would span the lock, however. "A few years back, we installed the lock doors and two existing bridges," says Pieter Augustyns, Deputy Managing Director Projects EUR & LATAM. "This project was for the installation of two more." 

To install the two bridges, Sarens chose to use one barge, the Caroline, for both transportation and installation work. This was because the Kieldrecht lock could only be blocked for a brief period of time. In order for the operation to succeed in this time frame, the transport and installation layout on the barge had to be linked to each other since the bridges would not be brought to the quay before being installed. 

Transporting and manoeuvring the two bridges in place presented a unique engineering puzzle. First, each 1.600-tonne bridge measured 100 metres long by 15 metres wide, and their sheer size took up a lot of space on the barge, limiting the available working area. Second, Sarens needed to perform several manoeuvres to rotate the bridges 90° while they were on the barge. Finally, Sarens had to work with a strict tidal restriction for one bridge, which meant there would be no second chances for installation. 

With an emphasis on careful planning and execution, Sarens successfully transported and positioned the bridges across the Kieldrecht Lock. To do it, the skilled crew used the CS1000 jacking system, steelworks, and SPMTs as well as the barge and related marine equipment. 

Sarens congratulates everyone involved in this operation for another successful project!