Wetteren Bridge Project in Belgium
Sarens Helps Install Wetteren Bridge in Belgium
April 2018

In September, Sarens operators were in Wetteren, Belgium to help transport, lift, and install a new bridge on the Schelde River. 

The old bridge, an aging passerelle connecting Aard and Tragelweg, sat low on the water, which made it difficult for three-layer container fleet to pass. It also did not meet comfort and usage requirements, prompting the municipality of Wetteren, Waterwegen and Zeekanaal NV (W&Z), and the Interregional Co-operation Schelde Landscape Park to collaborate on a replacement bridge. 

The first task was to transport the new bridge sections from the port of Ghent to the job site in Wetteren. Sarens operators chose the barges Jozef-Rosa and Karel-Victor for this operation, largely because their dimensions made it possible to pass under various bridges along the way. The twin barges carried not only the new bridge sections, but the LR1600 crane necessary for the lift and installation operation. 

Sarens had to plan the transport operation carefully. First, the river's small size made it difficult to get into the yard, so exact measurements were necessary to get the barges in the right position. Second, the job site was only accessible by water, so the right barges had to be selected for transport. 

Once on site, the Sarens team spent seven hours building up the LR1600 crane. A five-person crew then worked together to lift the 80t pile foundation, 70t pile, and 240t bridge section. 

"Lifting the bridge parts with an LR1600 on a barge was very crucial, and it was important to keep the trim perfect during lifting," says Senior Project Engineer Peter Keyen. "The operation went successfully and the client was very happy." 

The new 76-metre long bridge now connects Overschelde to the new district in the square Rode Heuvel and is accessible to cyclists, pedestrians, and wheelchair users. It consists of a single section attached to a pylon by steel cables, and is located 200 metres downstream from the old bridge, which will be removed in a few months.