The Port of Tarragona has completed the 460-m edge beam on the outer part of the Balearic Wharf using a total of 4,000 m3 of concrete. This week it will carry out the task of moving the formwork trolley to allow construction to begin on the 270-m inner wharf edge beam.
The edge beam is used to install the defences and bollards that protect and bear the weight of the moored vessels, especially when then are strong winds that tend to separate the ship from the dock. Therefore, this beam has been calculated in such a way that, between its heavy weight and the connection with the caisson infrastructure, it is able to bear all the aforementioned loads.
The edge beam is built in 10-m sections with the help of a formwork trolley. In this way, an average distance of 10 m is advanced every day. The framework is prepared outside the trolley and placed in it during the morning. Once inside the final checks are made and the bollard anchors and other auxiliary elements are fitted, depending on what position it is in.
Once everything is ready, in the afternoon the concrete is poured in. The structure is designed so that the next morning the already hardened concrete allows the formwork trolley to be moved to the next position to begin the process again. The trolley runs on built-in wheels and is pulled by tractors or hand winches (tools used to pull a load over a horizontal surface).
Prepared for the future
This new infrastructure will enable the Port to welcome more visitors in improved conditions. The total berthing line will be 700 metres, as along 270 of the 460 metres it will be possible to berth on both sides, adding to the area of the Llevant breakwater. This means that the number of vessels that can dock simultaneously and also accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world has been doubled.
The Port of Tarragona has conceived this wharf as a multipurpose facility to receive different types of port traffic both now and in the future. Currently, the priority is to use it for passenger cruise ships, an operation that is expected to begin in the middle of this year. The new infrastructure will have a very long operating life and its design allows it to be converted for operations with solid bulks and other types of cargo if necessary.