U.S. 22 is a critical route through a largely rural portion of Harrison County, Ohio, on the state’s east side near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. The effects of any closure to the route are immediately felt by motorists in the area. For example, when a bridge on U.S. 22 needed to be replaced, the detour added 30 miles to the route. It was important that the bridge replacement be performed efficiently and correctly to help get the motoring public back on schedule as soon as possible.
ALL Erection & Crane Rental, a member of the ALL Family of Companies, provided cranes for the Ohio DOT (ODOT) project to general contractor The Ruhlin Company. Bernie Paridon, sales representative for ALL Crane, specified two Liebherr all-terrain cranes for the critical work of setting precast beams for the bridge: a 550-USt LTM 1450-8.1 and a 300-USt LTM 1250-6.1. They were often used simultaneously to perform dual picks.
The 461-ft bridge was constructed in four sections over a creek bed that channels to nearby Piedmont Lake. The surrounding terrain consists of steep slopes and heavily wooded areas, making the mobility of the 1450 and 1250 integral to the success of the project. The cranes performed dual picks in a variety of configurations. Sometimes they were side-by-side, other times across from each other. For setting the middle sections—those closest to the creek—the 1250 was set up in the actual creek bed while the 1450 was positioned on higher ground.
Two of the bridge sections were 90 ft long and two were 120 ft long, with section weights maxing out at 132,00 lb. To set the larger beams, the 1450 was configured with 120 ft of boom, a 90-ft maximum radius, and 229,000 lb of counterweight, while the 1250 had 136 ft of boom, a maximum radius of 63 ft, and 159,800 lb of counterweight.
When the middle sections were set, the 1450 was at the top of an embankment with its boom extended to 80 ft so it could reach out across the creek chasm, while the 1250 boom was extended to 60 ft as it reached up from the creek bed.
The final pick was perhaps the most dramatic, as crews employed a transfer block so the two cranes could make a handoff. To set this final section over the creek, the 1250 was positioned on the west side where the beams were trucked in, and the 1450 was on an abutment on the far side. The 1250 picked the rear half of the 102,000-lb beam and swung it over the creek. Simultaneously, the truck backed up. The 1250 then set the load on the transfer block as the 1450 swung in, took the weight, and transferred the load in mid-air.
These Liebherr units are known for their easy transportability, fast setup, and lifting power, ideal for a job such as this.
“We had to move cranes every day because of the variety of setups we needed to place the beams,” said Greg Eichler, project manager for The Ruhlin Company. “The ease of takedown and setup of both Liebherrs was advantageous for these working conditions.”
“The versatility and power of the Liebherrs made them a natural fit,” said Paridon. “The bridge location doesn’t have the easiest access, and the terrain is multifaceted once you get there. With our experienced lift team at the helm, these machines were able to move freely about the site and accomplish the work smoothly and efficiently.”