The Artwork of Kamen
29 June 2022

The Artwork of Kamen

In Germany, they are known as 'Expressbrücke': bridges that can be put in place or exchanged within a short time by means of an accelerated construction method or with pre-assembled bridge sections. A godsend, because it shortens traffic jams and disruption as much as possible. This is good news for the business community and residents of a country where some 4,000 (!) bridges will need to be replaced in the next ten years.


The 'Artwork of Kamen' is another Expressbrücke and can rightly be called a work of art: the entire new bridge deck on the A2 motorway near Kamen was preassembled at a nearby construction site and placed in its entirety. Weighing 725 tonnes and measuring 17 x 19 metres, it is no small feat.


An excellent job for the bridge team of Wagenborg Nedlift.

Jacking operation

'It doesn't look too difficult, moving and placing such a flat deck, but there's more to it than you think', explains Bart van den Belt, project manager at Wagenborg Nedlift. Such a bridge deck is built about 2.5 metres above ground level but has to be placed at a height of more than 5 metres. That means that first of all, a big jacking operation was needed to put the deck on height.


Because of the weight and stability, we used our jacking system with eight 250-ton climbing jacks. More than 1,700 jacking beams were required to raise the deck to a height of approximately 5 metres. We opted for bamboo beams because they are very dimensionally stable and ultra-strong. Ideal for an operation like this.’

Support construction

Meanwhile, we prepared the SPMT combination of 2 x 16 axle lines', Bart continues. On top of this we made a strong support construction to carry the bridge deck at height during transport operation. Underneath this support construction, we positioned the 600 tonne jacking system. This allowed us to raise the deck another 80 cm or so to maneuver it over the abutments and then lower it again to the ground,' Bart continues.

Successful operation

On the Friday before Whitsun, the time had come: the bridge deck was up. With the help of the SPMTs, the Artwork of Kamen was slowly transported to its final position on the A2. By the end of the morning, the job was done and the new bridge deck was in place.


This lane will be put back into use at the end of July and then it will be the turn of the other lane to be renewed.

Watch the project pictures and movie here!

Pictures: Bauunternehmung Gebr. Echterhoff GmbH & Co. KG


Footage: Bauunternehmung Gebr. Echterhoff GmbH & Co. KG

Great team effort

‘All in all, we brought in more than twenty trucks with equipment to carry out this jacking and transport operation. The team of bridge specialists worked shoulder to shoulder for days. And with result: the entire operation ran like clockwork. A great team achievement of the Dutch and German Wagenborg colleagues of which I, as project manager, can only be proud’,  concludes Bart.

Profile Bart

Bart has been working as a project manager at Wagenborg Nedlift since 2018. He is responsible for the preparation and execution of the most diverse lifting and transport projects, such as exchanging propeller shafts at ships and the (de)assembly of pilot plants. Also in the infra sector, Bart managed several projects, including the installation of the new railway bridge over the Rhein-Herne canal in Oberhausen.


A beautiful, challenging and varied job in which no day is the same!

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