Øresund bridge foundation caissons, Denmark - Sweden
Lifting and lowering of two 20,000 t caissons

Scope of works performed

Lifting and Lowering of
two 20,000 t caissons


Øresund Konsortiet (50% Denmark / 50% Sweden)

Consulting Engineers

Cowl Consult AS / VBB Anlägning AB

Main Contractor

Sundlink Contractor HB

VSL Entity

VSL (Switzerland) Ltd.
Heavy Lifting



Project Description

In April 1997, VSL Heavy Lifting (Switzerland) has successfully carried out a contract for lifting and lowering two concrete caissons, which set a world record in weight handled by means of a hydraulic strand lifting system.

The two caissons form the foundations of the main pylons of the new Öresund bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö. Each caisson is having  plan dimensions of 35 m by 37 m, is 22,5m high and has a dry weight of 20,000 t. The caissons were prefabricated in a dry dock in Malmö and later relocated.

VSL used 40 strand lifting/lowering units type SMU-330 to safely handle the loads. Thanks to sophisticated controls only one person was required to operate the hydraulic system and supervise the movements.

During the tow out, fenders prevented horizontal swing of the caisson, which hung free on the lifting cables. Wind and wave conditions could have entailed up to 200,000 load cycles with load fluctuations of up to +/- 18 % on the strand cables. Therefore extensive fatigue calculations were carried out with respect to the barges and the suspension system.

More information?
Download our job report