Inventive lifting solution for heavy bridge girders

Inventive lifting solution for heavy bridge girders

There has been much road work on the Autobahn A30 between Osnabrück and Hanover to renew the lanes and renovate bridges. The Werrebrücke is situated near the village of Löhne, crossing the river of the same name. This required reinforcement with heavy steel beams. The Wagenborg Nedlift specialists came up with an inventive solution for the installation of the beams.

Bridge reinforcement

The Werrebrücke across the small river Löhne was reinforced with six heavy steel girders, the four heaviest of which were over 42 metres long and weighing 85 tonnes each(!). Transport and lifting these giants was an interesting challenge for the specialists from Wagenborg Nedlift. 

Transport using dolly's

The distance between the loading location in Emlichheim and the unloading location Löhne was 220 kilometres. Following a thorough route survey by Wagenborg Nedlift's transport specialists, it became clear that the entire route could be covered by road using conventional trailers in a so-called dolly configuration. The six beams were transported like this to the project location in Löhne during three nights.

conventionele aslijnen dolly

Clever teamwork

The solution on site the Wagenborg Engineering specialists had come up with was a clever combination of cranes and transport equipment. First an SPMT trailer was placed in between the dolly combination, after which the bridge girder could be lifted from the dolly combination by the hydraulic system of the SPMT. This allowed a bridge girder to be transported to the abutment, after which crane 1 (a 500-tonne mobile telescopic crane) inserted the end in the hook.

Subsequently the girder was placed on a support and the SPMT was moved to the other end of the girder. Once the girder was again free from the support by the SPMT's trailer hydraulics, the girder was transported to the abutment by a joint effort of a mobile telescopic crane and the SPMT.


Crane 2, a 700-tonne crane positioned on the other side of the river Löhne, was now able to take over one end of the beam from crane 1. A so-called triangle was used to attach the load to two cranes at the same time. After being hooked by crane 2, crane 1 was able to take over the other end of the beam from the SPMT, following which both cranes positioned the beam on the foundation by lifting in tandem.


Watch the project pictures here!

Inventive and green

Thanks to this clever solution the engineers from Wagenborg Engineering avoided the need for a much larger crane to be set up on the river bed of the Löhne. As a result, the banks of the river remained virtually intact and nature was able to recover quickly after completion of the work.

Nomination for ESTA Award!

The Löhne project, with the inventive solution for the lifting of the bridge girders, has been nominated for the ESTA Awards 2020!


ESTA is the European Association of heavy transport, heavy lifting and crane rental companies. The ESTA represents the national associations in the heavy transport and lifting sector. Each year, ESTA Awards are awarded for extraordinary projects in the field of technical ingenuity, innovation or safety. 


ESTA Europe

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