Mennens replaces hoisting ropes with lang’s lay construction in lift bridge Kampen


Mennens replaced the balance wire ropes in the city bridge of Kampen in May 2018, after we replaced its hydraulic cylinder a few years earlier. The steel wire ropes in the lift bridge were 20 years old and with some 5,000 lifting movements a year, in need of replacement. Read how our mechanics show an extraordinary example of precision work. 

The city bridge in Kampen has four towers with two balancing ropes each. The lifting ropes are connected at the bottom to a counterweight, which weighs 60 tons. On the other side, they are connected to the span, the moving part of the bridge. These lifting ropes take care of the vertical movement of the bridge, in combination with the movement of the drums. The bridge operator puts all of this into action. 

Important shipping route

The city bridge forms the connection between the IJsselmeer (Lake IJssel) and the Lower Rhine. It therefore has a lot of shipping movements per year, about 5,000. The steel wire ropes needed to be replaced after 20 years to keep the bridge in good condition. 


Exceptional diameter balance ropes

The hoisting ropes of the city bridge have a lang’s lay construction and a diameter of 36 millimeter. A logical choice for this bridge, because steel wire ropes in a lang’s lay construction have better fatigue characteristics when they run over wheels and on drums. 

The balance ropes have a diameter of 64 millimeters. This is exceptional for a lift bridge, because balance ropes normally have a diameter of about 40 millimeters.


Bridge with hydraulics and without equalizers

What’s also special about this bridge: it has no equalizers. While the wire ropes for each tower differ in length. Using hydraulic jacks, our mechanics equalized the tension in the steel wire ropes while they were being assembled. After six months, we checked the tension with acoustic tests. 



Another challenge was to lift the 60-ton counterweights to take the tension off the balance ropes so they could be replaced. We used a floating sheerleg from HEBO Maritiemservice.


Planning a replacement

The replacement has been completed, which means the steel wire ropes can last another 20 years. Mennens remains continuously involved in the inspection and maintenance of these steel wire ropes. 

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