Inclined Alimak elevators provide access to the bridge pylons

Megyeri Bridge, Danube, Budapest, Hungary

In 2008, two specially-built Alimak rack and pinion elevators were commissioned to provide access to the prestigious Megyeri Bridge in Budapest, the capital of Hungary. The elevators are installed inside the two pylons with an inclination of 13.2 degrees.

The Megyeri Bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge that crosses the River Danube between Buda and Pest, respectively the west and east sides of Budapest. It is a very important section of the M0 ringroad around Budapest. The bridge was officially opened on September 30, 2008.

Engineering challanges

Constructing bridge pylons is a great challange. The 600 meters (1,968 ft.) long steel superstructure will be held by the cables suspended on the two reinforced concrete pylons, each 100m (328 ft.) high.

But how do you transport men and materials on a vertical incline of 13 degrees to the top of the pylons? This was the challenge given to the Alimak Hek engineering department for the Megyeri Bridge. To overcome the problem of negotiating the inclinations that made it virtually impossible to gain access with traditional rope elevators, two Alimak rack & pinion elevators were installed inside each of the two pylons.

The Alimak elevators each have six landings and a travelling height of 53.5 meters (175 ft.) on a 13.2° incline. Measuring 0.78m x 1.04m (2’ x 3’), they travel up to the middle of the pylon’s legs at a speed of 0.6m/s (2 ft/s). On the upper part of the bridge, an Otis traction elevator gives access to the very top in a vertical (0°). The elevators give access for service and maintenance personnel to the cable stays as well as the aircraft warning lights.

Alimak Hek takes great pride in participating in the bridge project. The company also sees it as yet another example that when it comes to the really tough and difficult construction projects around the world, the contractors prefer to use their elevators. Alimak Hek won the contract from the elevator contractor Otis Felvono KFT Budapest for the supply and installation of the two special rack & pinion elevators.

Experience in bridges

Accessing bridge pylons for service and maintenance presents one of the trickiest challenges for elevator and access companies. Maintenance personnel must gain access to the cable stays as well as the aircraft warning lights at the very top, requiring a elevator inside the concrete pylons. For this type of application, the Alimak rack and pinion solution is really the only viable alternative, since many of the pylons are extremely narrow and in many cases inclined or even curved.

Alimak pylon elevators

Alimak internal pylon elevators and construction hoists provide reliable and efficient access on bridge projects around the world. They adapt to inclinations and curves, tight spaces and windy conditions, and climb to the very top of the highest structures.

Capacities range from 300 kg to 2,400 kg (660 lbs. to 5,280 lbs.) as standard. Special elevators have been supplied up The Alimak elevators at Megyeri Bridge has inclinations of 13.2° to 24 tons (53,760 lbs.) capacity. Alimak Hek has more than 40 years’ experience in meeting the demands of bridge builders.

Other bridge projects

Other examples of bridge projects around the world where Alimak industrial elevators or construction hoists have been installed include:

  • Viaduc de Millau, France
  • Chung Sin, Taiwan
  • Pont de Normandie, France
  • Sunshine Skyway Bridge, USA
  • Second Severn Crossing Bridge, UK
  • Honshu Shikoku Bridges, Japan
  • Rama VIII bridge, Thailand
  • Tsing Ma/Ting Kau/Kap Shui Mun Bridges, Hong Kong
  • Great Belt Bridge, Denmark
  • Øresund Bridge, Sweden-Denmark

Elevator details

Megyeri Bridge, Budapest, Hungary
Installation year:
Inside bridge pylon
Elevator type:
Rack & Pinion
Elevator model:
ALIMAK SE 300 FC Special
No. of elevators:
300 kg (660 lbs)
Elevator car size:
0.78 m 1.04 m 2.17 m (W x L x H)
0.6 m/s (2 ft/s)
Lifting height:
53.5 m (175 ft)
M0 beltway of Budapest
Cable-stayed bridge
Longest span:
300 m (984 ft)
Total length:
1,862 m (6,109 ft)
100 m (328 ft)
Opening date:
Sept 30 2008
Inclined Alimak elevators provide access to the bridge pylons

Customer profitability

In a 'time is money' world, we ensure customers get materials and personnel transported higher, faster and safer.