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06 May 2013

Two pipe sections for the new Botlek bridge

The Botlek bridge just outside Rotterdam carries a narrow road and has limited navigation clearance. It opens and closes frequently, delaying both road traffic and shipping on the Botlek. Work is currently underway on a much wider and higher bridge which will improve the flow of traffic on both the road and the waterway.

Mammoet recently installed a large U-shaped sleeve pipe across the waterway. The 1.22-meter diameter sleeve contains water pipes and over 100 plastic ducts through which data and power cables will be drawn later. The client assembled the sleeve pipe at a terminal nearby and we moved it to the site using three floating sheerlegs (floating cranes), tugs and pusher tugs. Once on site we carefully lowered it into a trench dredged between the bridge foundations. Divers then disconnected the rigging and the sleeve pipe was covered with ballast (small stones) to protect it.

In addition to the floating sheerlegs and tugs we also provided pontoons and a multipurpose vessel. The challenge of this project was not so much the weight (260 tons) but the awkward shape of the 92-meter long pipe and its weight distribution. We’ve installed the next sleeve pipe early in May.

The new Botlekbrug will also be a lift bridge. Its spans are currently being assembled at our terminal in Schiedam and it will be installed next year.

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