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Sarens assists in the construction of the Clyde Waterfront

Sarens performs the challenging transport and installation of two bridge sections of the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside swing bridge in Glasglow, the UK.

The Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside swing bridge project, a joint venture by Smulders & Hollandia Infra, is a significant new river crossing on the Clyde River in Glasgow, Scotland. This remarkable structure features a two-wing design, connecting the north and south banks of the river between Renfrew, Clydebank, and Yoker, approximately 8 km west of Glasgow city center. The bridge, catering to vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists, ensures safe passage for both commercial and recreational vessels along the river, while its design pays homage to the Clyde’s maritime heritage with rotating vertical pylons that mimic the motion of cranes.

Sarens, contracted by Smulders, played a crucial role in the transport and installation of the two bridge sections. The south bridge was constructed by Hollandia Infra in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The north bridge was constructed by Smulders in Flushing, Netherlands. Both bridge sections had to be transported and installed in Glasgow, the UK.

To undertake this crucial project, Sarens teams studied the site conditions in Rotterdam, Flushing, and Glasgow and decided to deploy:Sarens barge Caroline; 26 ballast pumps (600T/h); 6 hydraulic winches (50T); SPMTs in various configurations (6×10 axle-lines, 2×16 axle-lines, 2×12 axle-lines); RoRo ramps of 2.75m, 5.8m, and 9m.

Some equipment was shipped on the barge, while the rest was transported by road.

Each bridge section weighed about 1600 tonnes and measured 92m in length, 18m in width, and 38m in height. Due to site-specific requirements in Rotterdam and Flushing, different SPMT configurations were used. In Rotterdam, limited space and ground pressure led to a setup of 6×10 axle-lines, while in Flushing, 4×16 axle-lines were required due to ground pressure limitations. Extensive ballasting was necessary in both Glasgow and Flushing to maintain the correct draft and trim, compensating for tide and load variations during operations.

The south bridge in Rotterdam was transported to the quayside using six 10-axle SPMTs, lifted by three shearlegs, and loaded onto Sarens’ barge Caroline. After securing the load, the barge was towed to Glasgow, where pre-assembled SPMTs (two sets of 12-axle units) were used to move the bridge to its final position on temporary jacks.

The north bridge in Flushing, Netherlands, followed a slightly different process. It was transported to the quayside using 32-axle SPMTs, driven onto the barge during a load-out operation, and transported to Glasgow. The installation sequence in Glasgow mirrored that of the south bridge.

The project involved a crew of 14 individuals, working in double shifts to minimise the barge’s presence in the river navigation channel in Glasgow. Due to limited water depth, a ramp structure on piles bridged the gap between the barge and quay, with the longest gap being around 18 meters.

According to Sarens Project Manager, Kenny Decoster, “The Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside swing bridge will significantly improve connectivity in the region and reflect the historic significance of the Clyde’s maritime industry. Sarens is very proud to be involved in this landmark project.”