Sarens Develop Customised Engineering Solution for Bridge Beam Installation – Heavy Lift News
14 Feb 2024

Sarens Develop Customised Engineering Solution for Bridge Beam Installation

Since 2021, the Autreville viaduct located on the motorway between Nancy and Metz has undergone complete reinforcement with stripping, repainting, construction of new supports, and the creation of a substructure to support it.

In the heart of Autreville-sur-Moselle, next to the Moselle River, a remarkable engineering feat was executed by Sarens for their client Baudin Chateauneuf.

The meticulous planning phase addressed specific challenges head-on:

  • The project necessitated the installation of a support beam of UHPFRC (Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete), Chevêtre P1, during a tight time frame where the Moselle was completely closed for six hours.
  • Moreover, the team had to create a solution with a barge with a capacity of 290t to accommodate Chevêtre P1 and fit between P1 Piles, posing a unique challenge.

To address these challenges, specialised Sarens equipment comprising of:

  • Modular Barges (SMBs),
  • SPMTs,
  • Ballast Pumps BE200,
  • and Hydraulic Winches were deployed.

Each piece of equipment was selected to ensure efficiency, safety, and precision and driven by the need to maintain barge stability during load-out and installation, a critical consideration in such intricate projects.

All the equipment was transported to the site via trucks, with barge materials sourced from the yard in Ghent and additional materials from the yard in Wolvertem. Mobilisation was done through 33 trucks and took one week. The assembly of equipment, including SMBs, SPMTs, winches, and pumps, took two weeks. Despite challenges such as the absence of a proper quayside, the team overcame obstacles with innovative solutions, ensuring successful coupling and installation.


Photograph courtesy of Baudin Chateauneuf


The Chevêtre P1 weighed 290t and measured:

  • height      3.2m
  • length    35.5m
  • width      4.9m

The lift demanded precise planning and execution. With only a six-hour window for the closure of the canal, time was of the essence.

Transport and loadout with SPMTs and installation with barge and winches posed significant challenges. The crane, stationed at the job site for three weeks, navigated through unique logistical challenges, including the presence of high-voltage electricity cables. However, a dedicated team of seven personnel, including supervisors and operators, ensured smooth operations throughout. While weather conditions remained favorable, the team remained vigilant, consistently monitoring water velocity to maintain safety standards. Their expertise and precision were instrumental in the successful completion of the lift.



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