Setting beams for Orlando I-4 bridge requires cranes on barge and land

Nov. 6, 2018

The metamorphosis of car travel in, around and through Orlando, Fla., continues with the expansive I-4 corridor project. This 21-mile, $2.3 billion project is completely changing the way traffic is routed and managed through one of the largest metroplex areas in the world. The ultimate goal is less congestion and easier travel through a region bustling with theme parks and entertainment venues, as well as neighborhoods and a thriving downtown.

Recently, work included reconstructing a bridge over Lake Ivanhoe, north of downtown. ALL Sunshine Crane Rental, a member of the ALL Family of Companies, provided two 300-USt Manitowoc 2250 crawlers to general contractor SGL Constructors to set large bridge beams. The two cranes were required to work together on multiple tandem picks of 150-ft concrete beams weighing 215,000 lb each. In addition to the tandem lift aspect, this job came with other challenges—including the fact that one of the 2250s needed to work from a barge floating in the lake.

It took two days to complete the assembly of the barged crane. On day one, counterweights and tracks were assembled, then crews walked the crane onto the barge. The next day, assembly was completed and additional counterweights were added.

Once lifting began, work could only be done between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. “In Orlando, and especially on Interstate 4 with the amount of tourism and a growing population that travels our roadways, naturally traffic is always a huge safety concern,” said Steve Johnson, sales, rental and lift specialist at Sunshine Crane Rental. Over two successive nights, the team of 2250s lifted and set more than a half dozen of the massive beams. The second 2250, as well as the truck carrying the beams, remained on the land. The cranes had to simultaneously lift a beam from the truck, swing it into position and lower it into place.

General contractor SGL Constructors is a joint venture that brings together three different construction companies—Skanska, Granite and Lane—for the purpose of tackling the ambitious I-4 project. Sunshine Crane Rental had relationships with all three companies prior to the creation of SGL, making its participation something of a natural.

“We’ve worked with the three of them on almost a daily basis for decades,” said Johnson. “So it made sense that we would work together when they formed the joint venture.” In addition to the critical lifts for the Lake Ivanhoe span, Sunshine Crane Rental has provided numerous cranes for other portions of the project and helped SGL with assembly of its own fleet of 49 cranes.

“We’re providing not only equipment but also erection supervision of assembly and disassembly of the customer’s equipment,” said Johnson. “Our team has safely performed literally scores of disassemblies and reassemblies for the client’s fleet over the past several years of the project, all without incident. Safety is priority one.”

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