Mexicobruggen: a difficult puzzle

Large infrastructural activities are dominating Antwerp at the moment, and one of those is the Noorderlijn (Northern Line). Aannemingsbedrijf Aertssen is currently engaged in this project, but there are also opportunities for Aertssen Kranen and Roll-iT. The Mexicobruggen (Bridges) – two 400 ton heavyweights – were scheduled for maintenance and had to leave their familiar position. At least 36 SPMT axles lines, a 500-tonner and a 100 ton crane worked together on this challenging operation.


The exceptional construction of the Mexicobruggen creates an extra challenge. As the bridges’ centre of gravity is just above the land side, they could not be simply loaded from a pontoon. Firstly, they had to be elevated 1.5 metres, to enable us to place a pontoon underneath. Secondly, they had to be supported in stages by towers, so that the SPMTs, which held the bridge up, could be removed. Finally the bridges then had to be turned in the direction of the pontoon. Only then were the bridges ready to be transported away for restoration.

So you see, it was quite the challenge for Aertssen Cranes and Roll-iT. Nevertheless, our engineering team’s excellent preparation and our lifting team’s years of experience contributed to this successful operation.