Construction of Europe’s largest turning bridge

Home Infrastructure Projects Verbindingsbrug Zeebrugge

Turning bridge Zeebrugge

The Port of Zeebrugge was on the lookout for a reliable partner to safely connect the two quays of the connecting dock in the port over a distance of 400 meters. The solution was found in the temporary partnership Artes Depret – Artes Roegiers – Victor Buyck Steel Construction – Agidens. The result The largest movable bridge in Europe, with a span of 130 meters. After completion, Agidens Infra Automation will be responsible for the maintenance for eighteen years.

After an intensive D&B tender process, the Port of Zeebrugge awarded the contract to the temporary partnership Artes Depret – Artes Roegiers – Victor Buyck Steel Construction – Agidens for the design and construction of a new movable bridge over the connecting dock in Zeebrugge. The new bridge replaces the smaller movable bridge in the connecting dock and, apart from creating a better connection for port traffic, will also make the inner port safer for cyclists.

Challenges & Solutions

Aside from safely connecting the two quays, the bridge had to be able to provide a passage of 55 meters. The award criteria were completion of the bridge based on a solution-free specification, as well as reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety, in combination with price. It was also important that the bridge would be ‘integrated into its surroundings’.

Our solution was to provide a central lifting and turning mechanism to lift the 2,200 tons turning bridge in 150 seconds and turn it 90 degrees, without an active centering or locking mechanism. This system allows, in full redundancy, to move the bridge safely and efficiently with a minimum of movements. The challenge is to hold the bridge perfectly horizontal because the bridge is lifted with eight jacks. The emergency stop upon turning was a major challenge because there was a risk that the central pillar would break off.

Extensive scope

Advice & Consulting

Process design / Engineering

Software Engineering

E&I Engineering

Safety Engineering


Automation & System Integration

Testing & Commissioning

Maintenance & Service Support

Cyber Security


Reliability & Availability

The installation is fully redundant, including the drive, operation, and control.


Fewer components and as few wear-sensitive parts as possible are used. The bridge is also accessible in all possible positions.


The operation is similar to the other installations managed by Port of Zeebrugge.


We also ensure better safety (SIL 2). The installation is built according to best practices in the field of machine safety and cybersecurity.