A mega move in Münster
Engineering

A mega move in Münster

Wagenborg Nedlift’s bridge specialists attracted quite a crowd mid June. A new bridge was being installed over the Dortmund-Ems Canal and the residents of Münster came out in droves to watch the work up close.

Slender and elegant

The old Wolbecker Strasse bridge, located right next to the site of the new bridge, offered spectators a front row seat to this show. And what an extraordinary show it was! To start, the bridge itself is a far cry from the conventional sort – this elegant, slim, arched bridge appears to be symmetrical but in fact the two sides are not quite identical. A bridge with a twist. It truly is a work of art, not just in its design but also in the way it was produced. For the steel construction specialists who worked on it, overcoming the technical challenge of bending the two arches proved a bold feat indeed.

 

The project got off to a late start due to the complexity of the construction task and the time required to prepare for it, which was longer than expected.

Wagenborg red

At last, the time came to install this unique arched bridge, with a length of over 67 metres and weighing more than 550 tons. To achieve such a large-scale task, the Wagenborg Nedlift team brought a massive amount of equipment to the site, including a pontoon, the Modular Support System, support beams, mobile cranes, SPMTs, climbing jacks and a sliding system.

 

Now, a carefully orchestrated combination of horizontal and vertical conveyance techniques, conceived by the engineers at Wagenborg Engineering, could finally start.

Lifting, piloting and sliding

The bridge was installed step by step:

  • It was lifted to the correct height using the climbing jacks.
  • SPMTs were positioned underneath the bridge. 
  • Support beams were placed on the abutments in front of the bridge, and the sliding system was positioned on top of these. The bridge was now resting on the SPMTs and the sliding system.
  • A four-metre-high support structure was assembled on the pontoon using the Modular Support System. Two support beams, each one 28 metres in length, were then positioned on top of this structure.
  • The beams on the abutment were attached to the beams on the pontoon.
  • Now, the first part of the sliding operation could begin. The sliding system was used to slide the front part of the bridge to the centre of the pontoon.
  • The support beams were detached, and the pontoon then carefully travelled across the canal, working in tandem with the SPMTs.
  • On the other side of the canal, the support beams were again attached to the beams on the abutment, 
  • … and the sliding operation continued until the bridge was correctly positioned over the abutments on both sides. 
  • Finally, the bridge was lowered onto the abutments using the jacks.

Watch the project pictures here!

Watch the WDR story on the bridge installation too. 

Almost ready?

Now that the new bridge has been installed, the access roads need to be finalised before the bridge can be used. And even then, the work still isn’t finished! The old bridge will be removed next summer. The old abutments will be completely rebuilt and in summer of 2022 the new bridge will be shifted sideways so that it takes the place of the old bridge.

 

So, it will take some time yet, but the patience of Münster’s residents will certainly pay off!

Wagenborg and the bridges in Münster

The Wollbecker Strasse bridge is not the first bridge that Wagenborg has installed. The bridge specialists were also responsible for the Schillerstrasse bridge. Wagenborg has plenty of experience working ‘on land’ as well: in November 2020 the company installed a 2000-ton rail viaduct in the B481.

Read more about the Schillerstrassebrücke project:

Switcheroo in Münster

Read more about the sliding of a 2000 tons railway viaduct:

New skidding record for Wagenborg Nedlift!

Dortmund Ems Canal

The Dortmund–Ems Canal connects the eastern Ruhr region with the Emden seaport. It is an important transport route in western Germany. Currently, the canal is being widened and deepened to make inland shipping possible for larger vessels.

Would you like to know more? Check these pages!

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