Project Summary

In April 2001, the cargo barge COEN 260, carrying the Rancocas Creek steel arch bridge, suddenly capsized and came to rest at a
46 deg angle, with the bridge resting on a mobile crane and the pier. The bridge was being assembled and just days away from
installation. Argonautics Marine Engineering, Inc. became involved in the bid stage and assisted Rigging International with securing
the recovery and installation contract. Once the contract was obtained, the accident was investigated and a root cause report
produced. A detailed uprighting procedure was developed, including maximum required pulling and restraining forces at various critical
stages of the operation.

Once all righting equipment was in place, on-site assistance was provided during the actual operation, which was successfully
executed on July 27, 2001. Additional stability was provided with 4 small sectional barges, temporarily mounted to the sides of the
COEN 260 barge. Four days after uprighting, the bridge was floated in position over the piers. By ballasting the barge down, the
bridge was lowered onto its bearings. 

Scope of Work

The project scope included:


Project Articles

This uprighting operation was closely followed by the local media. Newspaper articles appeared in the Burlington County Courier and
in the Courier Post.

Project Photographs

specialists in marine heavy-lift transportation engineering
naval architects
marine surveyors

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Investigation of the accident, resulting in a root cause report;
Design of the righting procedures and establish maximum required forces at each critical step;
Check of stability throughout the righting and design of mounting hardware for temporary stability sponsons;
Design of ballast procedures for final installation of the bridge onto its piers;
Provision of on-site assistance during actual uprighting and float-over installation operations.
Rancocas bridge accident
Bridge supported by shore crane after capsizing of barge
Flexifloats mounted to the sides
Flexifloats mounted to the sides
Start of deballasting
Start of deballasting
Barge partly uprighted
Barge partly uprighted
Barge successfully uprighted
Barge successfully uprighted