Floating Foundation Installer : a unique machine for installing footings in the river

For a few weeks, a blue structure identified as SARENS has been moored to the L’Île-des-Soeurs jetty, and it has not gone unnoticed.

It is a Floating Foundation Installer (FFI) that was assembled to transport 38 footing and initial pier section combinations from the jetty to their final location at the bottom of the Saint Lawrence River.

Specially designed and built in Belgium for the New Champlain Bridge Project, the FFI is outfitted to operate in strong currents and to lift and transport parts that can weigh up to 1,000 tons.


Catamaran industriel SARENS - 13 mai 2016 - nouveau pont Champlain

The lifting apparatus has a turntable, allowing for a 360-degree rotation of the parts. We will soon be testing the FFI out on the water and doing some routine jaunts.

Its operations will officially commence in June and last until the 38 footings have been installed in the river.


The Floating Foundation Installer by the numbers:

  • Length: 65 metres
  • Width: 47 metres
  • Height: 35 metres
  • Weight: 1,240 tons