German transport specialist, Riga Mainz, used SCHEUERLE Self Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) axle lines and lifting systems to perform bridge replacement works.
Riga Mainz was required to complete this assignment over one weekend, replacing a railway bridge in need of refurbishment with a new 320-tonne concrete structure without removing overhead lines.
The bridge is one of eight that runs parallel to each other and crosses the Mainzer Strasse in Darmstadt.
Riga Mainz was tasked with gradually replacing all bridges where the first bridge is located close to the road whereas the other bridges are positioned six metres deeper in the direction of the track bed.
“We could lift the first bridges while parked on the road to their designated positions using a mobile crane but we couldn´t reach the remaining structures in this way at all,” said Riga Mainz Managing Director, Uwe Langer.
“At the very least the use of a crane with a corresponding reach would be very complex and expensive.
“This is why we were looking for a more economical solution,” he said.
Riga Mainz reportedly has one year to develop and economical solution for the complex combination of transport, demolition and assembly.
A side girder deck between the two electronically connected transport platforms served to accommodate the new concrete bridge. Altogether, 20 SPMT axle lines were required to carry the total load of 570 tonnes. On the side girder deck, Riga Mainz installed a certain process technology that it had developed itself and which, according to the company, is unique in Germany and provides a lifting capacity of 500 tonnes. Another advantage of the lifting system, for which a patent application has been filed, is the relatively low overall height. As a result, the transport including the cargo could pass safely under the overhead lines. This saved the client a lot of time and considerable costs.
The Riga Mainz approach was as well thought-out as the transport modules and lifting technology.
“We drive the two SPMT platform vehicles on the road under the old bridge, separate it from the anchorage and then push it out using the lifting system,” said Langer.
“Subsequently, we could move the old structure from the track bed onto the SPMT. Following this, we suspended the new bridge in the side girder deck and swung it over one of the other bridges onto the track bed.
“As soon as it reached the correct height, we carefully manoeuvred it sideways under the overhead lines into the resulting gap with the help of the electronic multi-directional steering and brought it into position there,” he said – explaining the this this procedure was repeated until all of the eight bridges had been replaced.
Riga Mainz plans to purchase additional SPMT axle lines.
“We couldn't have completed the assignment without SCHEUERLE's self-propelled transport modules,” said Langer.
“The SPMT is the best tool that is available for this.
“As a result, we will be purchasing additional SPMT axle lines from SCHEUERLE,” he said.
The company acquired its first SPMT axle lines back in 2001 and has continuously added to its fleet since then. Riga Mainz mainly uses SPMTs in order to move columns in refineries and the chemical industry.