May 17 - Sarens has moved an 8,400-tonne railway bridge into position above the A1 highway in the Netherlands using a combination of Kamag self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT).

The move was part of a EUR1 billion (USD1.13 billion) contract awarded to the SAAone consortium by the Dutch government to build, upgrade and operate a section of the A1 and A6 highway between Amsterdam and Almere.

The project involves the construction and installation of two complex bridge structures, an aqueduct and a railway bridge.

Sarens was contracted by Victor Buyck Steel Construction to assist with the transport of the huge railway bridge, which measured 255 m long by 17 m wide by 50 m high.

Following its assembly, the 8,400-tonne bridge had to be moved 400 m into position, so that it could be installed over the A1 highway.

Considering the huge amount of traffic on the Dutch road the job was carried out during the night, which involved closing the A1 highway from 20.00 on May 6 to 12.00 on May 7.

The entire operation - from driving start to set down on the bridge foundations - took about six hours, with the motorway opening three hours ahead of schedule.

The massive structure was transported using 244 axle lines of Kamag K2400-ST SPMTs with 122 axle lines on each side, spaced 220 m apart.

Sarens explained that due to the huge size and weight of the bridge, combined with the large spacing between the two SPMT groups, it was particularly challenging to design a sufficiently strong supporting structure.

The entire SPMT combination was also controlled by a single operator. Both SPMT groups were linked together using a wireless data connection - the first time such a connection was used between SPMT groups over such a long distance, claims Sarens.

Dutch transport ministry spokesman Henk Voerman commented on the operation: "It was really imposing to watch, particularly from close up when those enormous wheels began to move."

According to Sarens, this was not only the world's largest railway bridge but also the heaviest bridge ever moved by road using SPMTs. Work will continue on the bridge and it is scheduled to open in August 2016, when the old railway bridge will be demolished.

See a time-lapse video of the move here: