A project manager’s view

Interview with Arjan Bossers and Wouter Siemerink

Transportation and installation of the Bøkfjord bridge was carried out by two heavy transport experts, both subsidiary companies within the Wagenborg Group. Wagenborg Towage supported by providing tugs, pontoons and maritime services, while Wagenborg Nedlift impressed with their jacking skills and Self Propelled Modular Trailers (SPMT’s). Wagenborg Nedlift’s project manager Arjan Bossers supervised the project realisation; the maritime aspect was left in the capable hands of Wouter Siemerink.  Today, Arjan and Wouter tell about their personal project experience. 

In short, who are you as a project manager?  

Arjen: “I’ve been active at Wagenborg for the past 12 years. I’ve had the pleasure to be part of several large projects during those years, however I would say supervising the Kirkenes project has been the most spectacular one to date.”  


Wouter: “The challenges encountered during this project were new and quite uncommon, such as mooring on a flowing river. My most spectacular project? I can’t say for sure, since I have been involved in supervising various other beautiful and complex projects. Think about transporting container cranes to Tenerife and transporting and installing a bridge at St. Martin.”  

How did you become involved in this project and what part did you play?

“In the past years I have carried out several projects for our client Schachtbau Nordhausen, including several bridge installations”, Arjan recounts. “Working together for an extended period of time, we both know where we stand. I became involved in this project during the quotation phase in 2015.” “Arjan called me concerning this project and together we made the client an attractive offer. Wagenborg’s possibilities, solutions and entrepreneurship makes it so that we can handle these projects as a whole”, Wouter adds.  Arjen elaborates: “And being able to offer this all-round service is what makes the job so amazing.” Wouter: “We create certainty and peace for our client by making things as easy and convenient as possible.”

“I’ve had the pleasure to be part of several large projects, however I would say this project has been the most spectacular one to date”

Looking back on this project, how do you feel?

Wouter: “The whole team had to step it up a notch, but that did not stop us from enjoying the whole experience to its fullest. Good planning, preparation and engineering made for smooth sailing and allowed the deadlines to be made on time.” 


Arjen: “What excites me is that this project was filled to the brim with technical challenges, all which we were able to overcome utilising our own Wagenborg equipment and crew. This clearly illustrates what Wagenborg is capable of! These type of projects are not a one man show, it takes team effort in order to succeed: from engineers, welders, barge-operators, SPMT operators all the way to administrative assistants.”   

What would you say was the most exciting time during the project?

Without a doubt I would have to say installation day. That is when we manoeuvred the stationary pontoon with its mooring system into the current. We had to pick the right time in order for the current and the tide to be at their most favourable. Furthermore, we had to take into consideration that enough time was being reserved for fine-tuning the pontoon’s position and installing the bridge. This final stretch of water transport felt like the culmination of it all”, Wouter recounts impassioned.  


Arjen adds: “This signalled the most exciting moment for me, which was turning over the foundations at the landing facility. Here everything we spent calculating and invented came together, along with unpredictability’s such as the current, deviating tide predictions and weather conditions.” 

Onwards to the next project?

Arjen confirms: “I have several new projects going at the moment, including one where we will be transporting and installing a reactor at a South-German refinery.” 


Wouter concludes: “I have a few interesting projects to look forward to as well. We are currently in the midst of doing preparations and stability calculations for deploying a crawler crane on a pontoon in order to perform lifting work. Also, in Germany we’ll be deploying our new pontoons Wagenborg Barge 14 and Wagenborg Barge 15 paired for the first time.  The project entails another bridge, however this time we are putting it out to sea.”

“Credits to all of the Wagenborg team for delivering as planned! ”