Pictures of vessels transporting key parts for new Pelješac bridge
Two Chinese vessels with test piles for the Pelješac bridge and a pile driving barge are on their way to Croatia. The Zhen Hua heavy-lift carrier carrying the barge is expected to arrive to Ploče on Sunday. The second vessel is carrying 21 piles, more precisely 127-metre long steel pipes, which will be test driven into the sea floor on the site of two piers of the future Pelješac bridge.
The piles and other equipment were loaded onto the vessel in Shanghai. Jutarnji list has the photographs of Zhen Hua 7 and the vessel transporting the piles. Zhen Hua 7 is actually a semi-submersible vessel. The pictures clearly show that the vessel is ‘extended’ in the middle to accommodate the barge with the pile driving equipment. The piles are steel pipes with 2 meters in diameter which will be driven into the sea floor and constitute the main part of a bridge pier. There will be a total of 130 piles built into the ten piers of the bridge. Concrete foundation will be poured on the sea floor for a part of the pile. A pile cap will be then erected on top of the piles to hold the bridge pylons.
According to available information, after the customs formalities are done, the vessels will head for the construction site. The date of the test pile driving is not known yet. According to unofficial information, the works could start during the first days of 2019. The piles and equipment will be downloaded by the barge for pile driving.
Test pile driving is carried out to determine the technology and contractor’s ability for such complicated project. According to unofficial information, another vessel with the rest of the equipment for the bridge construction will arrive from China at the end of January. The Transport Ministry has secured all necessary paperwork for the vessels’ entrance and stay in the Croatian territorial waters, with the purpose of carrying out the construction works.