Enerpac jack-up moves London bridge in Antwerp

13 March 2018


Antwerp-based transport company Roll-iT NV has used an Enerpac JS-250 Jack-Up system to negotiate a 300t bridge deck through the Belgian canal network.

The bridge, on the Eilandje in Antwerp old harbour, is named the Londenbrug, or London, bridge. As part of Antwerp’s Noorderlijn transport initiative it had to be replaced with a wider bridge capable of accommodating two traffic lanes plus foot and cycle paths in both directions and a tram line in the central reservation.

The deck, manufactured by steel construction company Aelterman, was transported 50km from Ghent to Antwerp on board a Victrol canal pontoon.

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 lock-keeper’s cottage / 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 two 12-axle self-propelled modular transporters and the Enerpac JS-250 jack-pp system to lift the bridge deck and load it onto the Victrol pontoon. After loading, the jack-up towers were fully lowered and securely fastened to increase the pontoon’s stability.

The JS-Series Jack-Up system uses four jack-up towers, one under each corner of a load. The lifting frame of each tower contains four hydraulic cylinders, which lift and stack steel barrels. The load is lifted in increments and barrels are inserted to carry the raised load. 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 canal-side obstacles when entering and leaving the Kattendijkdok lock, and the height of the London Bridge lock-keepers 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 along the canal. It was very stable and surprisingly quick. Raising and lowering the bridge deck was completed in a fraction of the time we’d expected.”