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Meulestede bridge

  • Location: GHENT [BE]
  • Discipline: CIVIL ENGINEERING & INFRASTRUCTURE, ELECTROMECHANICS, PORT, RIVER & HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING, URBANISM & DESIGN
  • Period: 2012 - ...
  • Planned placement of the southern bridge
    2024 - 2025
  • Placement of the northern bridge
    20 until 28 September 2023
  • Start of construction works
    26 September 2021
  • Approval of environmental permit
    27 September 2019
  • Start of the study
    2012
  • Meulestedebrug - oude brug  - nieuwe brug staat open - water
    Copyright: De Vlaamse Waterweg
  • SBE engineering Meulestedebrug Kanaal Gent-Terneuzen N456 N458 tweelingbrug #teamsbe #expertsatplay
  • SBE engineering Meulestedebrug Kanaal Gent-Terneuzen N456 N458 tweelingbrug #teamsbe #expertsatplay
  • SBE engineering Meulestedebrug Kanaal Gent-Terneuzen N456 N458 tweelingbrug #teamsbe #expertsatplay

The old Meulestede bridge crossing the Ghent-Terneuzen canal in the Ghent Port Area will be replaced. To increase the capacity of the N456-N458 intersection, two new bridges will be constructed next to each other. This will increase the total bridge capacity to 5 lanes. Multiple adjustments to the road infrastructure are also required in the wider area around the bridge.

The new Meulestede bridge will be a so-called twin bridge. This means that the bridge will exist of two separate movable bridges constructed directly next to each other. One bridge will have two lanes, while the other three lanes. This way, the old bridge can largely stay available for traffic during the construction of the first new bridge. Both bridges can be opened separately. This has the advantage that one bridge can stay available for traffic during future maintenance and repairs. The bridges will each have a separate lane for shared use by pedestrians and bicycles. The road situation will be adjusted for the new bridge layout, increasing the overall capacity of the junction. The old sewer system will in the immediate vicinity also be renewed. A new bicycle underpass will be constructed below the Meulestede bridge at the canals right bank. This will create a conflict-free transit road for bicycles with good connections to the wider scheme of bicycle paths. For this project, the quay walls will be modified to match with the elevated topography of the bridges. A new building will be constructed to house the bridges electrical equipment.

  • SBE engineering Meulestedebrug Kanaal Gent-Terneuzen N456 N458 tweelingbrug #teamsbe #expertsatplay
  • SBE engineering Meulestedebrug Kanaal Gent-Terneuzen N456 N458 tweelingbrug #teamsbe #expertsatplay

Installation of the northern bridge

Over the course of one week, from 20 to 28 September 2023, the new northern bridge of the Meulestedebrug was successfully installed by Artes Depret, Victor Buyck Steel Construction and Besix Unitec.

This bridge consists of three different bridge sections that were individually sailed in and lifted in place. The movable bridge section was first placed on temporary supports and filled with steel ballast elements and casting mortar.
Afterwards, both the fixed bridge sections on the left and right banks were lifted into place. After assembling the rotation axis and installing the bearing devices, the pedestals were connected. This was a precision job, because with a bascule bridge, the actual weight of the bridge must approximate the theoretical weight as closely as possible. Weighing and calculation were therefore performed between each assembly step to ensure that the bridge is perfectly in place.

Extensive testing of the bridge will continue over the next few months: normal road users will have to wait until spring 2024 to use it.

The installation of the first movable bridge section of this twin bridge provided some spectacular images:

  • Meulestedebrug - oude brug  - nieuwe brug staat open - water - plaatsing noorderlijke brug
    Copyright: De Vlaamse Waterweg
  • Meulestedebrug - oude brug  - nieuwe brug staat open - water - plaatsing noorderlijke brug
    Copyright: De Vlaamse Waterweg
  • Meulestedebrug - oude brug  - nieuwe brug staat open - water - plaatsing noorderlijke brug
    Copyright: De Vlaamse Waterweg
  • Meulestedebrug - oude brug  - nieuwe brug staat open - water - plaatsing noorderlijke brug
    Copyright: De Vlaamse Waterweg
  • Meulestedebrug - oude brug  - nieuwe brug staat open - water - plaatsing noorderlijke brug
    Copyright: De Vlaamse Waterweg
  • Meulestedebrug - oude brug  - nieuwe brug staat open - water - plaatsing noorderlijke brug
    Copyright: De Vlaamse Waterweg

Responsibilities SBE

  • Architectural design
  • Civil engineering  (full engineering design process)
  • Detailed calculations
  • Design of roads, bicycle paths and surroundings
  • Sewer design
  • Procurement documents
  • Follow-up of the works
More info about civil engineering & infrastructure

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