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Skatepark developed under historic Port crane

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2019.12.12 - The Port of Brussels carried out an unprecedented large-scale operation on Wednesday 11 December: the moving of a historic crane from the right bank of the Canal to its left bank in the outer harbour of Brussels. This relocation operation used the waterway, which is large enough for exceptional transport activities of this kind.

The moving of the historic crane represents part of an overall urban integration project within the framework of the Canal Plan and the Landscape Quality Plan. The aim is to create a skatepark and develop the banks and the cycle path between the new skatepark and Brussels Cruise Terminal.

The skatepark, developed by specialists, will have a total length of 55 metres, a maximum width of 13 metres, a main ‘bowl’ measuring 10 metres across and several technical features. The completion of work on the new regional skatepark is scheduled for the end of 2020.

Cranes: an integral part of Brussels’ heritage

The crane under which the skatepark will be developed is an old industrial crane from the 1950s and was used in the Port of Brussels until the 1990s. It was then renovated, and its relocation marks the start of a new adventure, as it becomes a witness to the industrial history of Brussels and its port.

The Port of Brussels has two other historic cranes: one which stands at Quai des Péniches (Béco Dock) and another in Anderlecht (Biestebroeck Dock).

A spectacular Canal crossing

To carry out this operation, the 25-metre crane, which weighs around 300 tons, was loaded onto a pontoon using self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). The loaded pontoon then travelled a distance of some 500 metres to cross the Canal and unload the crane at its new location on the left bank of the outer harbour.

The overall cost of the project (moving the crane, building the skatepark and redeveloping the bank) is 1.3 million euros, part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).