The distant tower

21 March 2017

Azvi is using a Potain MCT 88, controlled remotely, in a project to restore the Žeželj Bridge, which spans the Danube River and connects a key stretch of international railway.

The Žeželj Bridge, originally built in 1961, was torn down in 1999 after being damaged by wartime bombing in the former Yugoslavia. Belgrade-based Serbia Railways pledged to rebuild the bridge in 2014 as part of a larger €1.2 billion investment in Serbia’s infrastructure.

Once completed, the bridge will measure 474.0m in length and 31.8m in width, and it will feature several amenities that include two railway tracks, a two-lane road and two bicycle lanes that each measure 2.5m in width.

Azvi, the construction division of Spain-based Azvi Group, was tasked in August 2016 with rebuilding the bridge. In order to access the lifts, the company needed a lifting solution that would enable operators to remotely control a crane, as it would be erected on a cofferdam in the middle of the Danube River, and difficult to physically access.

Azvi chose the Potain MCT 88 for the project because of its remote-control functions and easy erection. It took delivery of the crane at KIGO, a subsidiary of Slovenian dealer B&L UTRIP located in New Belgrade, Serbia.

The 5t MCT 88 is currently erected with 52m of jib in the middle of the Danube River, on top of a customised cofferdam. The erection of the crane on the cofferdam was done with direct assistance from B&L. River water must be continually pumped away from the cofferdam to ensure site stability.

Azvi assembles metallic arches for the bridge on the riverbank and moves them by pontoon to the crane’s position in the middle of the river.

The MCT 88 then lifts the arch components, which weigh nearly 5,200t when combined, on top of the original Žeželj Bridge’s foundations. Work on the bridge is expected to continue into 2017.