High-end lifting operation in Groningen
10 February 2022

High-end lifting operation in Groningen

The largest and busiest motorway intersection in the North Netherlands is the Julianaplein in the city of Groningen. Two motorways, the A7 and A28, intersect here currently controlled by traffic lights. This situation leads to considerable congestion around the city. For this reason, Julianaplein is being completely converted into a new grade-separated traffic interchange.


This is a major challenge, because Julianaplein is wedged between roads, waterways and buildings. That is why the road construction companies opted for an unconventional approach, namely the construction of a temporary junction that traffic will use during the conversion operation.

Temporary bridge

An important part of the new temporary junction is the temporary bridge over the Noord Willemskanaal and Brailleweg. This temporary bridge, made by Retro Bridge, consists of steel bridge parts of a maximum of 45 tons each, which are placed on temporary foundations. A big lifting job for the lifting specialists of Wagenborg Nedlift!


Polystyrene foam blocks

The Wagenborg Nedlift team does not hesitate to do a bit of heavy lifting. But in this case, the subsurface was a particular challenge. Naturally, many cubic meters of sand had been brought in for the construction of new temporary roads and driveways. But that was not possible at the ramp of the afnew temporary bridge. That is why a different solution was chosen, namely giant polystyrene foam blocks (EPS). This makes it possible to quickly build a light and safe base for a driveway. But what if you put a 700 tonne mobile crane on it to lift heavy bridge sections?

Load distribution

Together with the engineers of Wagenborg Engineering, the lifting team pondered this question. First of all, it was accurately determined which outrigger pressures would occur during each phase of the lifting operation. The engineers then calculated how this pressure could be optimally distributed so that the polystyrene blocks would not be overloaded. This resulted in a load distribution floor of no less than 64m² per outrigger leg!

Lifting operations at night

The load distribution floors consisted of a combination of steel ramps and wooden mats that were positioned on top of the polystyrene foam elements according to an exact installation plan. After this, the 700 tonne mobile crane was set up and the work could begin.


During five nightly lifting operations, the first phase consisting of 2150 m2 bridge sections was put in place. The 700 tonne capacity mobile crane towered high above Julianaplein. Truly high-quality lifting work!


From the end of March, traffic can use the unique bridge construction in the temporary Julianaplein.

Watch the project pictures here!

Pictures: Meter Fotografie, Retrobridge, Raymond Bos

Ring road South Project

Read more about the Ring road South Project in Groningen and the conversion of Julianaplein traffic junction at www.aanpakringzuid.nl 

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