Jacking Systems Used to Complete Bridge Installations




Old bridges around the world are constantly in need of rehabilitation, which can pose challenges to local communities who depend on them and recognizing this problem and the difficulties that can arise when accessing bridges for repairs is not always an easy task. Sarens, a global leader in heavy lifting, developed their climbing systems solution for even the most challenging jobs.

With the advancement of technology leaving more room diversity in terms of the materials used to construct massive bridges, larger and more powerful equipment is needed in order to conduct maintenance work or complete installation. In projects which face unique challenges, such as little to no room to lift bulky equipment or materials, Sarens has opted to use jacking systems to complete lifts as opposed to its typical cranes.

These systems, which are typically used to lift and install machinery or lift very large loads, can oftentimes be the most economical and efficient option to complete a complex lift. Sarens, which typically focuses on crane-based jobs, designs its jacking systems completely in-house, deploying them to play an extremely critical role in the construction of massive projects like bridges and offshore vessels. This equipment has been part of Sarens’ fleet since the late 1990s, and currently operates 7 different types of climbing systems to be able to take on large projects with increasingly heavy materials.

Jacking systems are diverse enough to be deployed at several different project sites. Saren’s biggest system, dubbed the CS5000 has a 4,500 t capacity per tower and is still being used on projects today. For its smaller jobs, the team deploys smaller systems which can be handled manually and can be easily transported by road.

Sarens recently deployed one of its smaller CS250 jacking systems to install bridge sections in Adelaide, Australia, where it had previously installed a 2,700 t bridge. As part of the project near Darlington, it moved 3 large portions of the bridge for a project worth more than $620 million. Due to the uneven nature of the ground at the project site, the team brought in jacking system to provide extra support to the bridge parts as it was being handled and it was able to successfully complete the lifts using the specialized equipment.


Ecko Logistique Inc.

In Belgium, over 30 bridges along the Albert Canal were installed by Sarens since 2018. In a recent string of installations, it utilized several CS350 jacking systems to raise loads more than 6 m without bracing, allowing for extremely efficient installation. This type of lift was made possible by the systems designed by the Sarens team and the precision ensured by project managers and their engineers.

“We’ve used this machinery most recently for bridge installation, however over the years, we’ve seen our climbing systems used in almost every segment of the industry,” commented Peter Huygebaert, head of engineering at Sarens, “For example, lifting ship-to-shore cranes for leg extensions, installation of heavy industrial equipment, and even used as jacking device on SPMTs for transport when needed.”

Source: Sarens

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