“Even during the tendering phase for this project, our engineers from Wagenborg Engineering sat down with the client to examine various options for installing this rail viaduct,” recounts Bart Schutte, senior project manager at Wagenborg Nedlift, who is responsible for the preparation and execution of the assignment.
“There were some serious challenges,” he continues. “For example, there is very limited space around the construction site and the viaduct is situated on a slope. On top of all that, it was essential to make the downtime as brief as possible in order to keep the inconvenience for train travellers to a minimum.”
With these challenges in mind, the Wagenborg Engineering teams set to work. They developed a unique way to approach the situation. Bart explains, “The new viaduct is being fully constructed adjacent to the existing rail line and the whole thing will be inserted into its final position in one piece. In order to prevent the need for a lot of ground work on the slope, we are first placing the viaduct at a higher elevation, on slides. Then the viaduct will basically slide down the slope, without causing any disruption to the ground underneath. Once the viaduct has reached its final position, we will lower it by 1.6 metres using a system of jacks,” says Bart. “In an animation, we show exactly how everything will be done.”
“Our complete installation with the slides and the jacking system will be built even before the line is temporarily shut down. That way, as soon as the line is taken out of service, we can immediately start the transfer process. Our engineers have determined that this method will save the maximum amount of time,” concludes Bart.