How to Lift A 1,300 Ton Barge 240 Feet In The Air!
“The Strépy-Thieu lift lock is the tallest boat lift on the planet, raising barges over 73 meters (240 feet) between the upstream and downstream sides.
Constructed of concrete with 2200 tons of steel reinforcement, the Strépy-Thieu weighs a staggering 220,000 tons—but to be fair, it needs to be to tolerate the massive torsional strain created during lifting.
It consists of two caissons, each independently counter-weighted and raised and lowered by a series of 144 85mm-thick steel cables.
The caissons make the vertical journey in about seven minutes—not bad considering that in addition to the 1350 ton barge, the surrounding water and caisson itself increase the average lift weight to 7200-8400 tons.
A series of four electric motors power to eight winches per caisson.”
This monstrosity adorns Belgium’s Canal du Centre in the municipality of Le Rœulx, Hainaut, which took two decades to finish and cost €160 million in total.