Contributions to Proceedings:
F. Kopf, A. Wiesinger, J.A. Jacobse:
"Foundation of the Botlek Bridge in the Netherlands";
in: "10. Österreichische Geotechniktagung mit "Vienna Terzaghi Lecture"",
ÖIAV Österreichischer Ingenieur- und Architektenverein,
The new Botlek twin lifting bridge is one of the largest lifting bridges in the world and is
currently under construction as part of the new extended Motorway A15 from Vaanplein to
Maasvlakte in the harbour of Rotterdam and part of the respective DBFM project. The bridge
crosses the river Oude Maas and will replace the existing adjacent Botlek Bridge.
This article focuses on the geotechnical and structural design of the massive pier
foundations, the soil-structure interaction and the handling of the interface between
geotechnical and structural design.
Since the lifting mechanism of the bridge only allows for limited movements of the piers
(especially rotations) it was of great importance to find a solution for the foundation which is
able to limit the deformations of the piers to the required minimum. From the economic point
of view a simple solution with a short construction time had to be developed. Finally, the
design process led to a shallow foundation which rests on sand layers of medium density. At
a depth of approximately 16 m below the foundation there is a relatively soft clay layer with
The sensitivity of the structure against deformations required extensive settlement
calculations in order to accurately predict the settlements. Deterministic 3D FEM calculations
were performed for the soil deformation analysis. In order to take the effect of soil
heterogeneity on the deformation behaviour of the bridge piers into account, a probabilistic
model was developed. An extensive soil investigation was performed for the determination of
the soil parameters.
Furthermore a sophisticated settlement monitoring system was installed during construction
of the heavy bridge foundation to monitor settlements and to compare and calibrate the
theoretical geotechnical modelling.
Botlek twin lifting bridge
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