International construction company VINCI is utilising three split-combination PST/SL 18 (P1+1/2) heavy-duty modules from international transport equipment manufacturer Goldhofer in the construction of a new freeway on Réunion Island, located in the Indian Ocean.
The centrepiece of the new freeway is a 5,600-metre-long viaduct, which is being built to avoid the dangerous sections of the existing coastal road. The viaduct will have a total of 36 main piers, each weighing 700 tonnes. These are being transported one kilometre, from the concrete plant to the port. From there they will be loaded onto the floating platform and taken to the construction site. VINCI also needs to transport 1,386 precast viaduct segments, each weighing between 210 and 285 tonnes, approximately 15km from the concrete plant onto the finished length of viaduct. It is estimated that by the end of the project 1,386 journeys will have been made over a three-year period for the viaduct segments alone.
According to Goldhofer, a key reason why VINCI opted to use its heavy-duty split-combination modules is due to their flexibility. For example, the width of the decks of the modules can be increased by up to 50 percent. This means they can easily accommodate the 36 piers – which would normally call for two parallel modules – yet they also can be made narrow enough to deal with any vehicle width restrictions encountered whilst transporting the viaduct segments.
The operation is expected to last several months and requires two of the four lanes of the existing highway to be shut at night so that the heavy-duty transporters can use the closed lanes to travel between the concrete plant and the viaduct. As such, the self-propelled hydrostatic-drive vehicles have been equipped with two 490 hp power packs in order to travel at high enough speeds to complete the journey within the given time frame. The vehicles have also been fitted with fully-enclosed cabins due to the extensive nature of the project.
For an overview of the project (in French), copy and paste the following YouTube link: