The Köthen colossus installed!

The Köthen colossus installed!

The inhabitants of Köthen had to wait for over a year, but in mid-April the big day had finally arrived: the new Prosigker Bridge was installed.

Köthen junction

The new arch bridge weighing more than 660 tonnes forms a key component of one of the largest infrastructure projects in the region, connecting the inner city of Köthen with important arterial roads.  In addition, the bridge is elevated, making it possible for the catenaries on the important Halle - Magdeburg rail link to be adapted in accordance with the new requirements.

Assembly next to the tracks

In the past few months, large structural components of the bridge were transported from the construction workshop to the construction site next to the railway tracks. There, the steel construction specialists assembled the bridge into a colossus measuring no fewer than 73.0 metres long, 18.0 metres wide, 15.0 metres high and weighing 660 tonnes 


Brief weekend stoppage

In the meantime the engineers of Wagenborg Engineering had been studying the best way to install the bridge across the seven (!) railway tracks. This operation had to be carried out during a brief stoppage on the weekend to keep train traffic delays at a minimum.

Ingenious installation

The engineers from Wagenborg Engineering opted for the use of a combination of techniques to install the bridge. On one side of the track, where the bridge was assembled at the construction site, SPMTs were used for the transport. On the other side of the track, a 600-tonne crawler crane was ready to take over the end of the bridge. For the horizontal movement across the track, the engineers opted for Wagenborg Nedlift's own developed sliding system. Finally, several jacking systems were used for the vertical positioning.


A complex combination of relocation techniques, calculated and engineered to perfection by the clever minds at Wagenborg Engineering. 

Step by step

The big day arrived in mid-April 2021, and the ingenious solution was executed in the following phases:

  • Phase 1: raising of the bridge. The bridge was jacked up 8 metres (!). Now the SPMTs with the Modular Support System could be manoeuvred under the bridge.


  • Phase 2: SPMTs were used to transport the bridge to the abutments, manoeuvring the bridge across the tracks.


  • Phase 3: Next, the 600-tonne crawler crane took over one end of the bridge, allowing the front set of SPMTs to be driven under the bridge. Using the crane and the rear set of SPMTs, the bridge was rotated into the correct position.

  • Phase 4: Everything had been prepared for the actual installation of the bridge.  Close teamwork started between the crawler crane and the sliding system that was built on top of the support construction. Slowly but surely, the bridge slid across the tracks.


  • Phase 5: The bridge was positioned above the abutments on both sides and lowered two metres using Wagenborg Nedlift's new 600-tonne jacking system.


  • Phase 6: Finally, the bridge was taken over by lock nut jacks, allowing the client to prepare the support points.


  • Phase 7: In a few weeks, when the foundation points have hardened, the jacking specialists of Wagenborg Nedlift will lower the bridge onto its final foundations.

Great craftmanship

Great craftsmanship by the Wagenborg Nedlift team, who enjoyed considerable interest from the inhabitants of Köthen.

Pictures: Foto Fritzsche

The bridge is expected to be taken into use at the end of 2021.

ESTA Award winning project

The masterpiece of the movement of the Köthen Colossus has been awarded with the ESTA Award!


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.


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