Walhout Civil is working on an smart maintenance strategy for the Zeeland Bridge

Once Europe's longest bridge and still an impressive masterpiece of Dutch civil engineering: the Zeeland Bridge. The Zeeland Bridge has been an important connection between Zeeland and Rotterdam for 55 years. The bridge has a solid construction, consisting of 54 giant concrete pillars, 52 spans of 95 meters and a double bascule bridge of 40 meters. The prestressed concrete elements, which are built from the pillars, are connected in the middle with dowels and shock absorbers. In fact, the Zeeland Bridge is a long tubular construction of prestressed concrete. The highest point of the bridge is at +17.0 m NAP. The regular maintenance of the Zeeland Bridge is complex and time-consuming, due to the traffic, the high altitudes, limited working space, water currents around the pillars, and the rough wind and weather conditions on the Oosterschelde. The expectation is that more maintenance will be necessary in the future, because of the high age of the construction.

The province of Zeeland has awarded Walhout Civil a large order for the development of a smart maintenance strategy for the Zeeland Bridge and its foundation construction. Walhout Civil uses a different approach than usual. The aim is to determine the realistic construction behavior of the Zeeland Bridge and to model the degradation of the bridge (decay, deformations and wear). The specialists of Walhout Civil then carry out targeted inspections and scans, in which vessels, ROVs / underwater robots and drones will be deployed. If necessary, specialist investigations will have to be carried out. By means of inspections, investigations, intelligent monitoring data and 3D FEA analysis necessary maintenance measures can be adopted. These agile maintenance measures are integrally linked to risk matrices, financial strategies, schedules and online management tools.

Copyright pictures: Marco Nürnberger (Creative Commons 2.0), Beeldbank Zeeland 2019