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Drive system for the world’s largest vertical lift bridge

Waagner-Biro Bridge Division, headquartered in Vienna, builds the drive system of the "Botlek lift bridge" near the area of the Rotterdam port. The Botlek vertical lift bridge is a project of superlatives – it has the heaviest weight, the greatest lift frequency and the highest lift speed of any vertical lift bridge.

Waagner Biro is globally leading in the construction of bridges, steel-glass-domes, stage technology and special purpose machinery. The company has completed more than 4,000 bridge projects worldwide and has been gathering expertise since almost 160 years now. Waagner-Biro was awarded the Botlek contract thanks to its extensive know-how and broad technical experience in building complex bridge systems.

The contractor is a joint venture comprising the construction companies Strabag, Strukton and BallastNedam. The companies were commissioned to construct a 36-kilometre motorway section near Rotterdam where a new double span lift bridge will replace the old Botlek lift bridge.

The bridge will carry four traffic lanes and two hard shoulders as well as a double-track railway line. It will be opened around once every hour, or 9,000 times per year. With two spans of 90 metres each and a width of 50 metres, the weight to be lifted is impressive 4,850 tonnes on each side.