Babcock swings into action at V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront replacement swing bridge took top honours at the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) 2020 Steel Awards.

In 2019, Babcock Africa’s Plant Services division was contracted by a long-standing client in the steel and construction industry to assist with the installation of a new swing bridge at the V&A Waterfront. A Liebherr LTM1400-7.1 mobile crane, with a maximum lifting capacity of 400 tonnes, was used to lift the new bridge into place.

After opening and closing up to 60 times a day over 22 years, and carrying up to 2.4 million people per year, the existing swing bridge was no longer sufficient for the increasing number of pedestrians. The replacement bridge is more than 40 metres long and 3 metres wide, with the mast section extending over 10 metres into the air.

Je-T'aime van Staden, Customer Support Manager for Babcock, explains that the 78-tonne bridge was loaded from where it was assembled onto a floating barge. The crane was then moved into position during the evening after 22h00 so as not to disrupt the general public and surrounding businesses. The barge brought the bridge around the following day before it was lifted and placed in position.

“Lifting the bridge from the barge was challenging as we had to contend with movement from the water. Careful planning and precise communication between the rigger and operator was needed to ensure the lift was executed accurately and safely,” says van Staden.

The V&A Waterfront replacement swing bridge took top honours at the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) 2020 Steel Awards, which was praised for “the combination and integration of mechanical, structural, marine, geotechnical, construction and architectural expertise to create a simple but beautiful structure that moves”.

“As a trusted supplier of lifting equipment to the construction and steel industry, we are proud to have played a role in this award-winning project,” says van Staden.

Babcock specialises in the provision of mobile crane services with lifting capacities from 8 to 600 tons, distributed nationally as well as cross border. The offering includes a full turnkey services such as specialised rigging, abnormal transport, forklifts and project management to meet the needs of any small professional or large contractor.



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