Repairing impact damage on the QEW’s Skyway Bridge

May 19, 2015

Getting a crane in position to help do repairs on a major highway requires a lot of planning and the right machine capacity and configuration to get the job done—all in a tight space and on a tight timeline. When it happened near Toronto, ALL Canada Crane Rental was ready to help.

On Thursday, July 31, 2014, right before the busy weekend preceding Canada’s August/Civic Holiday on Monday, Aug. 4, a dump truck driver attempted to pass over the Burlington Bay Skyway—comprising two high-level freeway bridges located in Hamilton and Burlington, Ontario, Canada. The Skyway, as it’s known colloquially, is part of the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) highway that links Fort Erie with Toronto. The truck driver, not realizing that his truck’s bucket was in the raised position, smashed into the Skyway bridge’s overhead trusses and steel girders, causing extensive damage and necessitating a closure of the Toronto-bound lanes. This unprecedented closure lasted through the holiday weekend to clean up debris and to ensure that the Skyway was safe for continued travel until the damage could be permanently repaired.

Quite by coincidence, the Skyway was already part of a yearlong regular maintenance project on which E.S. Fox Limited, a longstanding customer of ALL Canada Crane Rental, was working as a subcontractor. Fox had already conducted detailed engineering studies of the bridge and had tapped ALL to assist with the planned Skyway maintenance work. So when the accident happened, Fox called on their prequalified partner ALL to assist with the permanent repair at the accident site.

A new steel beam had to be fabricated, which took several months, and in late April 2015 the Skyway was again temporarily shut down so the new beam could be installed. The lifting and setting of the beam took place late on a Saturday evening to minimize the impact on traffic flow.

ALL Canada provided the required crane to handle the job from their Mississauga branch: a 45-USt (40.8 mt) Liebherr LTC 1045-3.1 all-terrain crane, one of three in the company’s 37-branch fleet. This compact and highly maneuverable machine, often referred to as Liebherr’s “city crane” due to its capability in tight spaces, is ideal when a pick’s sight lines are limited—as was the case on the Skyway. What makes the LTC 1045 special is its unique one-cab design and its minimum turning radius of only 20 ft (6.1 m). The single cab can telescope forward or back for either driving or crane operations. Then, while at work, the cab can be boomed up to elevate the operator to over 25 ft (7.8 m), providing an unparalleled view of the work site. This allows the operator to see exactly where the load is to be placed—a real advantage on a job like this one, particularly since the work took place at night.

The right crane partner with the right equipment for the job. That is ALL.

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