On Saturday 4 March 2017, impressive works were carried out on the construction site of the railway bypass in Mechelen, where the largest component of the new steel rail bridge over the Leuven canal was placed. The prefabricated steel bridge is made up of several links. The abutments were constructed on site over the past months. Once the steel bridge is finished, it will be 77.5 meters long, 15 meters wide and 3.5 meters high, with a weight of more than 2300 tons.
In preparation for the placing of the large component, which has a length of 39,3 meters and a weight of 170 tons, the contractor installed two large mobile cranes (weighing 500 and 700 tons, respectively) along the Leuven canal. Next, the component was transported over the water on a pontoon near the site. Saturday morning, two giant cranes lifted and installed the bridge component. Once all bridge components have been installed, they will be welded together. In a next stage, prefabricated plates will be placed on the grid, on top of which a concrete floor will be poured.
This railway bridge is the last of six new bridges for the railway bypass that TUC RAIL built by order of Infrabel. Two new tracks will be constructed on the railway bypass in order to facilitate railway traffic between Antwerp and Brussels.