Alimak industrial lift provides maintenance access on Melbourne's West Gate Bridge

West Gate Bridge, Melbourne, Australia

An Alimak SE 2200 rack and pinion lift was installed on Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge, providing maintenance workers with safe access to the bridge top deck and roadway through a penetration in the bridge structure.

In January 2009 construction on the bridge commenced as part of a $300 million infrastructure upgrade to improve the long-term sustainability of the bridge. Alimak Hek, working closely with the West Gate Bridge Strengthening Alliance (W.G.B.S.A), installed an Alimak SE 2200 industrial rack and pinion lift through a penetration in the bridge, providing maintenance workers with safe access into the bridge deck and roadway.

During the construction and strengthening of the bridge, two Alimak construction hoists were used to provide 200 workers daily access to 16 work sites positioned along the length of the bridge. Located on piers each side of the Yarra River, the Alimak hoists allowed workers to safely access the top deck construction site through a penetration in the bridge; a safer method than travelling down the roadway on foot and entering through surface hatches.

Work on the bridge concluded mid-2012, at which point Alimak Hek installed a permanent SE 2200 industrial lift, replacing the construction hoist on the Eastern side of the Yarra river. While the construction hoists were used temporarily during construction works on the bridge, the SE lift would act as a permanent maintenance lift for ongoing access to the bridge deck and roadway.

The Alimak SE 2200 lift was specified to match the dimensions of the previous construction hoist penetration. In this way, no new penetration was required , as the SE lift would comfortably fit through the existing opening in the bridge deck. This penetration in the cantilevered upper deck structure enabled the lift to travel up the bridge pylon and arrive at the bridge’s top deck, with a ladder to provide access onto the roadway.

The incorporation of the SE 2200 greatly improved the safety of workers completing maintenance on the bridge. The lift enables personnel to safely access the top deck and roadway of the bridge, 58m above the Yarra River, without the need to travel on the busy laneway. The larger car size of the SE 2200 also permits the transport of a stretcher, should a worker be injured or an emergency response team require access to the bridge.

Elevator details

West Gate Bridge, Melbourne, Australia
Product model
Bridge, maintenance access
2200 kg
Car size
2.9 m x 1.3 m
0.6 m/sec
Lifting height
36.5 m
Melbourne's West Gate Bridge

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