With Eversafe Marine airbags, one 4000 tonnes statue, the 26 m high concrete sculpture with 22 m diameter circle base was moved 100 meters to make way for the expansion of a national road by Eversafe Marine. It is the first time in the world to relocate statue with marine airbags.
Moving caissons or vessel’s sections with airbags is commonplace, those objects all have strong structural strength and low gravity center that ensure the movement safety. Using airbags to relocate statue is a new try for both owners and Eversafe Marine.
Digging tunnels in 1 m thick lime earth under the structure base to place support girder is the first difficulty for the team. The uneven weight distribution and high vertical gravity center makes the structure movement to be unstable and deflected that is a big challenge. The transport way is natural ground, even compacted ,still not flat and strong enough to bear high pressure.
One 25 T winch was deployed to pull forward, another 10 T winch act as restraint. Eight heavy lifting airbags were used to lift up that 4000 tonnes statue.
The transfer of statue from flat spot to ramp went smoothly. The ramp is compacted natural ground anyhow, it sinks once airbags rolls over with load. Eversafe team had to adjust each airbag after every stop to drive structure move back to the right way. After 20 days’ hard work the statue arrived at its final location eventually.
This very hard project is a rigorous trial for both airbag and Eversafe team. All bags had been heavily compressed for several days, not mention the concrete circle base abraded bags everyday. Eversafe team also withstood huge pressures from the technical difficulties and practical limitations. Anyway it is a successful try of applying airbag heavy move technology in building field. Comparing with general building relocation method, it saved more than 70% cost and much time. Another advantage of using airbags to move structure is no harm to the environment which is invaluable.