New bridges expand Ohio’s Towpath Trail

Nov. 11, 2015

In July 2015, the first section of the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail was completed. This 10-ft-wide pathway connects Cleveland’s Scranton Flats area to the Ohio & Erie Canal’s Towpath Trail along the Cuyahoga River. The Scranton Flats, part of the Scranton Peninsula industrial zone, is a rocky riverside area where many factories once stood. The new trail features a sculpted riverbank with beautified landscaping and makes way for spectacular new views of the downtown area. The trail also has a new observation pier from which to watch ships on the Cuyahoga River, as well as two new steel pedestrian bridges. Because the bridges were built over water and rail lines in a busy, heavily traveled area, the construction had to be handled carefully.

Each pedestrian bridge is 175 ft long and 30 ft high and consists of three 40,000-lb sections. ALL Erection & Crane Rental Corp. in Cleveland was chosen by bridge construction contractor Youngstown Bridge & Iron to be the “heavy lifting” part of the construction team. Youngstown Bridge & Iron would assemble and erect on site a total of six bridge sections that ALL was to lift and set in place—that meant two separate crane picks of 120,000 lb, one per day per bridge.

ALL selected a 500-USt Liebherr LTM 1400-7.1, an all-terrain crane ideal for working in tight spaces with heavy loads. In April 2015, all of the bridge sections were transported to the trail, where they were assembled and rigged. In advance of the lift, general contractor J.D. Williamson had prepped the area by building a special crane pad to ensure the Liebherr had secure footing on the spongy riverbank during the heavy lifts. With the site prepped and the bridge readied, ALL went to work.

On the first lift day, the crane, configured with with 118 ft of boom, hoisted and placed 120,000 lb of bridge sections at a 70-ft radius over the railroad tracks. The second day, J.D. Williamson closed an adjacent road and re-routed traffic to allow the crane to make another 120,000-lb lift—this time at a 60-ft radius from the middle of the road. As planned, all sections were placed without a hitch, the job was completed on schedule, the crane was disassembled and removed, and the road reopened without delay.

ALL’s world-class fleet of equipment is helping to build the ever-changing American landscape, from the roads and bridges of the country’s highways to the oil and gas plants and wind farms powering housing developments . . . and from setting girders for new office buildings to transforming industrial spaces like the Scranton Flats into inviting space that beckons visitors to enjoy the great outdoors. For projects like these, wherever the lifting power of cranes is required, count on ALL to have the right equipment for the job.

Photo copyright: Bob Perkoski

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