Cranes aid massive road project, bridge rebuild in Indiana

February 13, 2018
Lafayette, Ind., bridge

The city of Lafayette, Ind., is nearing completion of a years-long process to update one of its main thoroughfares, a 2.5-mile stretch of Sagamore Parkway. Cranes provided by Central Rent-A-Crane, a member of the ALL Family of Companies, are playing a crucial role in completion of the project.

The long, curving street cuts through the center of Lafayette, crosses the Wabash River, and connects the city to West Lafayette and renowned Purdue University on the other side. The ambitious project, begun in 2015, completely renovates the Sagamore Parkway corridor, not only repaving but also adding landscaping, medians, streetlights, new turn lanes and improved drainage.

The third phase of the project is to rebuild the all-important eastbound bridge over the Wabash River. Central Rent-A-Crane is providing cranes for the project under the direction of general contractor Superior Construction.

The new bridge will be a 938-ft-long, eight-span connection placed on the existing alignment. When finished, it will have two 12-ft travel lanes, a 6-ft left shoulder and 11-ft right shoulder, and a walking/biking trail on the bridge deck. It is scheduled to open to traffic next year, with other improvements expected to take until June 2019.

Central’s cranes began setting the spans in December 2017. Each span is approximately 140 ft long and weighs 200,000 lb. Tim Welty, sales estimator for Central Rent-A-Crane, specified three cranes working in two separate time frames.

First, a Liebherr LTM 1400-7.1 all-terrain crane (500-USt capacity) with a 120-ft hydraulic boom and 264,000-lb counterweight teamed up with a Manitowoc 999 crawler crane (275-USt capacity) with a 150-ft main boom and 229,000 lb of counterweight. These cranes, sitting on specially constructed causeways on either side of the bridge, worked in tandem to set the first six bridge spans.

“Because setting the final two spans won’t require a crane with a 500-ton capacity, the LTM 1400-7.1 will be replaced by a 350-USt Grove GMK6300L all-terrain crane with 204,000 lb of counterweight,” said Welty. “The Manitowoc 999 will remain, and both machines will continue the same tandem process as before.”

The new bridge is of particular importance to the overall Sagamore Parkway project because of its function as a gateway to the neighboring city of West Lafayette. Lafayette city engineer and public works director Jeromy Grenard says it also will improve traffic flow during Purdue University’s football season.

Welty credited Central’s close working relationship with Superior Construction as a factor in landing the job.

Lafayette engineer Grenard is looking forward to completion of the Sagamore Parkway project. “Lafayette is a city on the move, and for too long this vital corridor hasn’t reflected who we are today. This project sets us up for a bright future.”

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