ArcelorMittalEnRailway underpass in Lokeren, Belgium

Railway underpass in Lokeren, Belgium

Lokeren is a Flemish town of 41,000 inhabitants located between the cities of Ghent and Antwerp. To improve the safety of the busy railroad line Ghent - Antwerp that passes right through Lokeren, the existing railroad crossing is replaced with an underpass.

The planned structure undercuts four railroad tracks, a service road and a bicycle path. The new underpass has two lanes for cars and trucks, and an elevated bicycle and foot path.
To reduce disruption, the construction of the underpass could interrupt the traffic on the train tracks only for one weekend on 5 and 6 May 2018. To stay within this narrow time frame, a special solution was designed, using the top down method in combination with sheet piles.

The underpass decks are supported by 46 vertical AZ®25-800 sheet piles with lengths of 12.4 m to 12.6 m. The underpass entrances consist of 165 AZ®18-800 sections in lengths between 5.6 m and 12.4 m. As special features, the piles have an inclination of 11° (1/5) and follow a curve with radius of 400 m. The vertical piles are connected by 4 prefabricated special transition piles to the inclined piles.

Once the sheet piles for the underpass entrance were installed, the excavation started underneath the prefabricated underpass decks. In parallel, the decks for track n°4, the service road and the bicycle track were constructed in situ. After excavation to final level was finished, the interlocks of the AZ 18-800 piles were seal-welded to obtain a completely watertight wall.
The use of ArcelorMittal’s extra wide AZ-800 series allowed to minimize the total amount of welds to be done. After the pouring of the concrete floor slab, the vertical AZ 25-800 piles were covered with an inclined concrete wall (1/15).

Due to the tight planning and the limited space on the job site, all sheet piles, 390 tonnes in total, were delivered just-in-time by ArcelorMittal. The works started in November 2017. The underpass opened on 22 May, 2019 and the entire project was completed in early July 2019, two months earlier than originally planned.
Last modified: December 14, 2020

Date publish: October 7, 2020
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