Athletes’ Village For 2024 Olympic Games In Paris
Sarens twin barges and jacking towers deployed for flawless bridge transportation and installation
March 2024

When it comes to modern bridge installations performed with astonishing speed and technical accuracy, Sarens raises the bar for what’s possible and connects landscapes and communities in powerful ways. The installation of a bridge for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris is the most recent example of what our visionary engineering and powerful equipment can accomplish.

French steel construction company Eiffage Métal recently entrusted Sarens with the load out, river transportation, and installation of a 1.500-tonne bridge across the river Seine. The new bridge is destined to connect the two parts of the Village des Athletes, Saint-Denis and île-Saint-Denis, for the 2024 Olympic Games.

Eiffage Métal first pre-assembled the bridge at its quay in Gennevilliers, and Sarens SPMTs then drove it onto our twin barges, Karel-Viktor, which had been outfitted with steel support structures, ballasting pumps, winches, and CS1000 jacking equipment. These innovative twin barges uncouple so they can pass easily through the locks leading to Paris, recoupling again at a wider width to provide stability for large transport operations. This is a superior solution to single barges, which could easily reach Paris but could never provide the necessary stability for larger operations. In addition to the twin barges, Sarens’ CS1000 jacking system is perfectly suited for quickly jacking heavy loads, thanks to a 1.000-tonne-per-tower lifting capacity, fully computerised control, and high freestanding ability.

With our specialised equipment ready for action, Sarens then had to account for the unique engineering challenges presented by this project. For instance, because of the quay’s height above the water line, a relatively high support structure had to be assembled on the barge before the SPMTs could drive the bridge aboard. This height, combined with the shape and weight of the bridge, meant that the barge’s stability during roll-on was quite limited and required a very accurate ballasting operation.

With the bridge aboard, the crew could then remove the SPMTs and jack the bridge down to the lowest possible height for safe passage below existing bridges as it journeyed to the installation point. However, because the bridge protruded from both the aft and front of the barge, the push boat had to be connected to the bridge itself, not the barge. For this, Eiffage Métal provided an interface structure between the bridge and push boat, in addition to large bracings to transfer the transport forces from bridge to barge.

Once at its destination, the barge moored temporarily while preparations were made, including jacking up the bridge to its installation height. Sarens then quickly and precisely installed the bridge during a 14-hour river closure. The crew manoeuvred the barge and bridge using hydraulic winches and jacked down the bridge on temporary supports by using the jacking system on the barge.

In total, the project took approximately three weeks to complete. Barge and SPMT preparations took nine days; RoRo took one day; removing SPMTs and support structures and jacking down and river fastening the bridge to the barge took five days; and transport took half a day. Once on site, preparing the bridge and jacking took two days; installation during river closure took 14 hours; and disassembly and demobilisation of all equipment took six days.

Sarens is proud to have completed this operation in support of Paris’ upcoming Olympic Games. We would like to thank the on-site crew, site supervisor, jacking operators, barge operators, project manager, and of course our client for making this extraordinary operation a reality.