Energy-efficient chemistry site calls on Altrad for modifications to old arch bridge.

In the south of the Netherlands, Altrad has long been working on the Chemelot site. Energy exchange and recycling make Chemelot one of the most sustainable chemical sites in Europe. It has its own port, rail terminal and pipelines for transporting liquid substances. To prevent these above-ground pipelines from clashing with the rail network, a 70-metre-long steel arch bridge was built in 1959, which was now in need of renovation.

Altrad as partner for the overhaul.

Altrad, after a careful selection process by the client, was able to fully showcase its multidisciplinary approach, engineering and skills for the complete overhaul of this 70m-long arch bridge.

4 challenges were on the agenda

- 3 old unused pipes had to be cut out of the bridge with a total weight of 16.5 tonnes

- The bridge had to be improved and repaired in 20 different places with steel plates and 2 diagonals

- The bridge had to be given a complete makeover via a series of conservation treatments

- Existing platforms and ladders had to be adapted to current guidelines

Altrad scored this contract mainly through its unique plan of action.

Pascal van Montfort (Royal HaskoningDHV), project manager for Sitech Site Infrastructure: "Altrad offered an innovative solution from the tender phase. We liked the proposal to use rope access technicians, because it allowed us to react faster and more flexibly to any unforeseen disruptions during the work. And on reflection, this was clearly the best option.

Altrad also proved able to manage environmental factors (permits, pipework agreements...) so they could organise their own work progress as efficiently as possible. Working with Altrad in the past and again now has been very rewarding, moreover Altrad always carries quality and safety as a top priority. "

A 1959 bridge, how to begin

It was obvious that a 60-year-old bridge had its defects. The steel and concrete were in bad shape in several places.

Given that it also had to work across several active railway lines, our engineers tackled these particular challenges. They came up with the proposal to build a specific suspension platform and attach it to the bridge on wheels so that our employees could work safely. For the repairs, painting and mechanical welding of the arches, the Altrad rope access team came into action.


Pascal van Montfort: "Strict safety rules apply when working on and around the Chemelot tracks. Altrad coordinated with rail users on how to work safely within Chemelot's Site regulations.

With the aid of track guards, extra barriers and some track closures, it was possible to carry out the various activities safely. By deploying rope access and a suspension platform, it was possible to carry out the work with minimal disruption to Chemelot's business processes."

Project progress

The suspended platform was delivered on schedule, hoisted up and made ready for use in 1 day. During the work, however, production on the site continued as usual and products were transported in and out by train.

The bridge was divided into 10 sections and one section was completed each week. A fast pace, but because of the unique construction it was feasible to meet the set deadlines.

Client: Sitech Site Infrastructure - Pascal van Montfort

Team Altrad:

Business office: Rob Goltstein

Project Manager: Stephan van Doorn

Engineering: scaffolding construction Ruud Strous

Rope Access Teams

Scaffolding construction team

Concrete repair/renovation


Mechanical Engineering

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