Cranes aid rapid bridge replacements in Pennsylvania

March 20, 2018

One of the country’s largest construction projects undertaken by a public-private partnership is winding down, and ALL Crane Rental of Pennsylvania was in the thick of it. The ambitious $900 million project saw Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) set out to replace a staggering 558 bridges, all within a three-year time frame. The rapid bridge replacement project began in 2015 as an efficient way to reduce the number of structurally deficient bridges in the state.

ALL Crane Rental of Pennsylvania, a member of the ALL Family of Companies, has played a crucial role in more than 150 of these bridge replacements. Another 79 are scheduled for this year, at the end of which the project will conclude.

Because these are smaller, mostly rural bridges, each jobsite is different. Work generally requires the cranes to set precast concrete beams over box culverts. The beams come in a range of sizes, with the longest being approximately 142 ft and weighing up to 95 tons. Two cranes are often needed on each jobsite, as the longer beams can require tandem lifts.

Because of the unusual breadth, scope, and relative speed of the project, a wide range of hydraulic mobile cranes have been employed at the various jobsites. Crane capacities range from 60 USt to a commanding 550 USt. The machines are typically at each location for two days before moving on to the next. An advance team from the project’s specialty trade contractor, Alvarez Inc., does ground prep prior to the cranes’ arrival.

In particular, two 300-USt-capacity all-terrain crane models have seen a lot of work throughout the project: the Terex-Demag AC 250-1 and the Liebherr LTM 1250-6.1. Compact and nimble, the AC 250-1 was used for the combined power, 262.5-ft main boom length, and compact size to efficiently handle picks in tighter areas. The LTM 1250-6.1, with 51 to 235 ft of telescoping boom and 364,000 lb of counterweight, is generally chosen for the versatility in its class. A lattice jib offers up to 230 ft of additional reach.

PennDOT is pleased with the quality of work the partnership has been able to produce. The goal is for the public-private arrangement to be in place for the next 25 years and to cover maintenance to the bridges as well, which should result in better-maintained bridges at a lower overall cost.

Image: Copyright, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2018, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

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