Switcheroo in Münster

Switcheroo in Münster

The Hanseatic city of Münster (Germany) has no fewer than 17 bridges across the Dortmund - Ems Canal. A number of these bridges are in need of renovation or renewal, including the Schillerstrasse Brücke.

Sisterly collaboration

At the Schillerstrasse Brücke, the client pulled a type of fast-change trick: Before the old bridge was replaced, a new temporary bridge for cyclists and pedestrians was put in place. The Wagenborg Nedlift team was called upon to transport and put it in its place. Due to the combination of 'wet' and 'dry' work, specialists from both Wagenborg Nedlift and Wagenborg Towing Services were engaged to prepare and execute this project.

Heavy hitters in action

The temporary bridge was loaded onto Wagenborg Barge 3 in nearby Waltrop using a skidding operation and then sailed via the Dortmund-Ems Canal to the Schillerstrasse location in Münster. Weighing 208 tonnes and measuring 51 metres, this temporary bridge was a whopper!

Therefore, two of the heaviest mobile cranes were used for placing it onto the foundations: a 700-tonne and a 750-tonne crane. After the pontoon was turned in the canal these heavy boys were able to hook both ends of the bridge and put it on the foundation.

Dismantling the old bridge

Now that the connection across the canal had been restored, dismantling the old bridge could begin. Wagenborg Nedlift provided mobile cranes for this job.

Inching and pinching

The transport and placement of the new bridge over the canal presented very different challenges. First of all, the bridge needed to be temporarily reinforced with support beams to absorb the forces created during transport and installation work. In addition, the space available for manoeuvring at the foundation was very limited and working on the pontoons also involved some inching and pinching to turn the bridge.

Figuring out the ideal configuration for the SPMTs was quite a puzzle for the engineers of Wagenborg Nedlift.

Unique solution

In the end this resulted in a solution whereby some axles of the SPMTs were lifted to create the necessary room for manoeuvre and to counterbalance the occurring forces.


The switcheroo in Münster produced a great project result for the team of Wagenborg Nedlift and the client!

Watch the pictures and timelapse here!

Would you like to know more? Check these pages!

Please contact us!

We will be happy to assist you