World's largest lift bridge opens with Waagner-Biro drive system

Every time the Botlek Lift Bridge moves to enable ships to pass through, the Eiffel Tower is literally raised. Weighing in at 4,850 tons per span width, it is the heaviest moving bridge in the world. With an overall span of 180 metres, the Botlek Lift Bridge is also 10 metres longer than the Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge in New York, which was previously the longest lift bridge in the world.

The highly complex drive technology for the moving bridge elements was supplied and installed by Waagner-Biro. As such, the Botlek Bridge not only boasts the heaviest weight of any lift bridge in the world, but also the fastest lifting speed and greatest frequency. It takes 30 seconds for the 9,700 ton lift bridge to raise up and close again. Furthermore, an ABS braking system ensures that the bridge also comes to a halt within +/- 20 mm in the event of emergency braking. Four traffic lanes run over the Botlek Lift Bridge, together with two hard shoulders and a two-track railway line.

The scope of supply of Waagner-Biro encompassed the planning, delivery and installation of the drive components, the guide elements for the bridge and counterweight, the entire electrics and control, as well as various hydraulic systems. Decisive for awarding the contract to Waagner-Biro were the company's comprehensive expertise and high technical competence in the execution of complex bridge systems, which the traditional Austrian company has succeeded in demonstrating in projects such as the Golden Horn metro swing bridge in Istanbul (Turkey), the Prai River swing bridge (Malaysia) and Rethe bascule bridge in Hamburg (Germany)