First bridge deck positioned on new Botlek bridge

17 September 2014

On Saturday 13 September around 19:00, the first bridge deck for the new Botlek bridge was placed in its final position between the columns of the bridge. During the first early-morning attempt to float the deck in, a delay arose due to a broken towing cable. After that, the right tide to install the bridge deck had been missed. On Saturday afternoon about 17:30, a new attempt got under way, and it was completed successfully.

Plaatsen botlekbrug 2_15-09 

The new Botlek bridge is the most prominent part of the A15 Maasvlakte-Vaanplein motorway widening project. The bridge deck is as large as a football field. This means this is a major logistical and implementation engineering achievement.

The new Botlek bridge will be one of the largest lifting bridges in Europe. The sail-through height of the new bridge is greater so it does not have to open so frequently. The shipping traffic can also pass the bridge from both sides simultaneously. Further, the number of lanes per traffic direction is being expanded from one to two. In this way, the bridge contributes to a better through flow by both road and water. As well as the new bridge, the Botlek tunnel remains available for road traffic.

Lifting towers and decks

The new Botlek bridge will be a lifting bridge with six lifting towers between which are suspended two bridge decks. Its construction started in 2011. Two sets of red cable pulleys have been installed on each tower. When complete, the deck of the new bridge will be raised and lowered via cables that run over these cable pulleys. Now the first bridge deck is in the right position between the lifting towers. The second one is expected to be floated in during the weekend of 26 September. 

The separate components of the two decks have being produced in Germany such that they could be transported by road. The components were brought to Schiedam by lorry in a total of 220 trips. The decks were assembled simultaneously on the wharf at Mammoet ready to float in and position. The approach of manufacturing in Germany and then assembling close to the bridge site is unique.

Plaatsen botlekbrug 2-15-09

Widening of the A15 motorway

The construction of the new Botlek bridge is part of the A15 widening project.
Work on the A15 motorway between the Maasvlakte and Vaanplein will continue until the end of 2015 to improve traffic flows and optimise safety. In total, 85 km of lanes will be added, and a new wider and higher Botlek bridge will be built. A-Lanes-A15, the consortium contracted by Rijkswaterstaat to carry out the work, is minimising the impact of the work by means of smart planning and building.

Plaatsen botlekbrug 3_15-09