Draakplaats Bridge in Antwerp

Renovation of a historic bridge in the city center

Besix Draakplaats Maturix
Besix Draakplaats Maturix

Watch the Interview: Besix uses Maturix at Draakplaats in Antwerp

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“To gain 5 weeks on a civil project of 40 weeks is an amazing time and cost saving action. I am definitely going to use Maturix for my next project as I believe it is the best solution on the market, as it is very user friendly and intuitive.”

Stijn Konings
Stijn KoningsProject Manager Besix
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The historic masonry and concrete bridge at Draakplaats is being renovated in the middle of Antwerp, Belgium. The bridge exists out of two parts. One part is masonry and was built in 1895. The second part is concrete and was built against this first part to extend the railroad from two to four tracks. 

The masonry part was still structurally in good shape and needed only aesthetic renovation. The concrete part however was structurally damaged and had to be broken down and rebuilt from zero.

Infrabel chose Besix  for restoring the five arches of this historical bridge. The project contains 2.600 m³ concrete, poured in four casts for each of the five arches. Each arch is 18m wide and 8 meters high. The bridge is part of the main transport hub to and from the port of Antwerp and is therefore part of the busiest freight train lines of Belgium with busses and trams as well.

Challenges

Besix is facing several challenges at this project:

They have to break down and  build a new bridge next to an existing bridge that is still in service, also during the construction phase. Two train tracks have to be running, and special safety measurements are required. The location of the project is a challenge, as it is in the middle of the city of Antwerp with trains, trams, and busses passing and limited space. A concrete pump transports the concrete over roads on-site. Lastly, the shape of the bridge commonly requires special attention: “The bridge is a work of art and it is a quite normal shape for masonry – but for concrete, it surely is not!” says Stijn Konings, Project Manager from Besix. “The formwork itself had to be completely handmade in wood in the Netherlands and we had to  use the same formwork for all five arches.”

Key Challenges

Solution

Besix uses four Maturix devices to monitor the temperature, maturity, and strength development inside the structures. With monitoring the curing of each arch, they could optimize the formwork removal time based on real-time data.

The Maturix platform has been accessed by site managers, project management from both Besix and the client Infrabel, and Besix’ concrete supplier. The concrete supplier supported Besix to get the calibration data required for the strength calculation.

When the system told that the required strength had been reached, they knew they could remove the formwork with reduced waiting time while ensuring safe work and great product quality. When monitoring had been finished, automatic reports were created and shared with the project owner.

“For me, it is crucial to be able to measure the concrete maturity or to be able to monitor the concrete strength in this project! As the shape is very specific, we ordered a handmade wooden formwork. However, we have five arches and only one formwork – so we reuse the same one. Thus, a fast formwork removal is key for staying on schedule and reducing the impact on public transport.

With Maturix, I have, on the one hand, real-time insight into the curing process, and on the other hand, I also get automatic documentation, which is required for this public project. This saves us a lot of time and additional work!”

Stijn Konings
Stijn KoningsProject Manager Besix
Read More

Results​

“Maturix has saved me at least one week per cast. With these five arches, it saves us five weeks in total by using the system. To gain 5 weeks on a civil project of 40 weeks is an amazing time and cost saving action. I am definitely going to use Maturix for my next project as I believe it is the best solution on the market, as it is very user friendly and intuitive.”

Stijn Konings
Stijn KoningsProject Manager Besix
Read More
Besix Draakplaats Maturix

“With Maturix, I have, on the one hand, real-time insight into the curing process, and on the other hand, I also get automatic documentation, which is required for this public project. This saves us a lot of time and additional work!”

Stijn Konings
Stijn KoningsProject Manager Besix
Read More

Besix

About Besix

The BESIX company has grown in its over 110 years of experience into a multidisciplinary group focussing on construction, property development, and concessions. The group has a strong position in its home It was founded in 1909 in Belgium and since then strengthened its position in Europe with extensive experience also in the middle east and Australia.
In 2018 the Group achieved sales revenues of over 2.5 billion €. The Group employs more than 15.000 persons in 26 countries across 5 continents.

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