Shutting down a main artery into a major metropolitan area is never a decision that is taken lightly. That is what was required this summer for reconstruction of the Broadway Avenue bridge over I-77 near downtown Cleveland. Kokosing Construction was the general contractor, working for the Ohio Department of Transportation. Kokosing chose ALL Erection & Crane Rental of Cleveland, a member of the ALL Family of Companies, to provide the crane for the job.
The location of the bridge, the confined space, and the grade of the surrounding ground made it impossible for two cranes to be on the site for the pick, so Kokosing needed a single crane that could handle the large bridge beams—which weigh more than 200,000 lb. ALL specified the Manitowoc 16000 lattice boom crawler crane for the work.
“We needed a crane that could pick and carry,” said Scott Mesick, Kokosing project area manager. “Given the confines of the space, there was no room for it to turn between the abutment and the pier. Instead, we needed to be able to back up, turn, pick up a segment and walk into the bridge.”
Crews also had to bring in temporary fill material to smooth out the grade the crane was traveling on, building up some portions by as much as 3 ft to create a level surface.
The bridge consisted of 24 segments, ranging in length from 119 ft to 138 ft. Each segment weighed approximately 205,000 lb.
The Manitowoc 16000 has a 440-USt capacity and 315 ft of main boom. The crane for the bridge work was configured with 230,000 lb of counterweight and would lift at a 50-ft radius.
Two weekends were allotted for the work, which is how long it took—just not over the two weekends that were originally planned. When the second weekend arrived, Cleveland was experiencing a rare July rain event that scuttled any chance of completing the job. The weekend after that, an already-scheduled MLB baseball game negated any work, as the contract did not allow interstate shutdowns if an event drawing more than 20,000 people was scheduled in downtown Cleveland.
“Luckily, we’d reserved the crane for a full month,” said Mesick. “And we needed it.” Crews worked from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each night to get the work done in the allotted time.
“This typically would’ve been a job for two cranes in a tandem pick, but that just wasn’t possible here,” said Mesick.
The $29 million bridge project is part of a larger plan to widen Cleveland’s Innerbelt to three lanes to reduce peak traffic and cut down on the number of rear-end and sideswipe accidents.