C&L, Case Studies, Cranes & Lifting, Features, New South Wales

Borger’s Tadano helps keep complex rail project on track

The teams at John Holland Lift and Shift Services and Borger Crane Hire and Rigging Services help deliver Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) Botany Rail Duplication Project.
A Borger Crane Tadano Demag CC2800-1 lifts a temporary steel girder into place during works on the ARTC's Botany Rail Duplication Project on Southern Cross Drive Bridge in Sydney.

Borger Crane Hire and Rigging’s 600-tonne Tadano Demag CC2800-1 lattice boom crawler did the heavy lifting recently, as temporary steel girders were installed for the new Southern Cross Drive Bridge.

Crews put the 33m long, 115-tonne temporary steel trusses into place, allowing John Holland to start work on pouring new concrete bridge girders in situ without closing the road below, an efficient approach that minimised disruption.

The Australian Government is fully funding ARTC to deliver the $400 million project, which aims to boost access to global export markets via Port Botany, improve freight and help reduce trucks on roads.

The first lift for Borger Crane Hire’s Tadano Demag CC2800-1 required 60m of main boom and derrick with 300t superlift counterweight at 15m.

For the second lift, the crane was reconfigured to a 54m boom, derrick with 200t superlift counterweight at 13m.

The lifts included a two span, simply supported temporary steelwork to support the construction of a new rail bridge across Southern Cross Drive.

Each span was 33m long and made of two main trusses with deck beams and a fully assembled timber deck. The overall weight of each span was 115t.

The steelwork was fabricated in northwest Sydney and delivered to site in sections, where it was assembled into a single span.

The mobilisation of the crane and the lifts were not without challenges.

Traffic management was one of the most significant, as a full closure of the busy Southern Cross Drive was required to perform the lift.

Site layout was also challenging, with the only available location to place a crane situated on the eastern side of Southern Cross Drive.

This was the main reason for the selection of such a large crane, as the second span had to be lifted at a radius of 45.5m.

Borger Crane Hire and Rigging’s
600-tonne Tadano Demag
CC2800-1 lattice boom crawler
managed the heavy lifting of the
33m long, 115-tonne steel
girders into place.

The Obstacle Surface Limitation (OLS) from Sydney Airport was another major constraint: the OLS was as low as 12.5m from ground at the location of the crane.

Apart from limiting the operational windows for the two main lifts (including erection and lowering of the derrick and main booms of the crane) to 11pm to 5am under permit, this was a significant challenge for the assembling of the 600t crane.

The new bridge sits adjacent to an existing ARTC bridge – meaning the lifts had to be managed in coordination with ARTC to ensure no major disruption to the freight rail traffic through the night.

A detailed critical lift plan was put together by Borger Crane Hire and John Holland’s TEK team which included several controls, with a test lift performed the night before the main lifts for both spans.

This included a detailed step-by-step procedure as Span 1 involved changing the amount of superlift counterweight halfway through the lift.

The overall weight on the crane, including the rigging arrangement and deductibles, was 127.5t with this lift.

Azobe crane mats were used under the tracks of the Tadano Demag CC2800-1 to spread the load of the crane onto the working platform designed by Witt Consulting.

The trusses were designed by Jacobs, and this business also performed structural assessments in lifting conditions and the design of lifting points.

The lifting points consisted of pins with end plates through the truss main elements – a sort of “trunnion” solution.

A third-party design analysis for the lifting points/lifting devices was performed by Case & Pike Design.

Efficient access to and from Port Botany is critical to the economic growth and prosperity of Sydney.

Over the next 20 years, container freight, air freight, air travel and general traffic in and around the Port Botany area are expected to grow significantly. This will put more pressure on roads and other infrastructure and impact local communities.

The NSW Freight and Ports Plan 2018-2023 predicts the amount of container freight handled by Port Botany to increase by 77 per cent from 14.4 million tonnes in 2016 to 25.5 million tonnes in 2036.

The Australian and NSW Governments have identified clear objectives to increase the share of this freight that is moved by rail.

Transporting more freight to and from Port Botany by rail will place additional demands on the existing Botany Line.

The Botany Rail Duplication is expected to allow for increased freight movement on the Botany Line from the current average of about 20 trains per day (per direction) up to around 45 trains per day (per direction) by 2030, based on current and predicted operational requirements identified by ARTC.

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