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Universal Cranes wins CICA +20-tonne lift of the year award

How Universal Cranes’ M16000 lifted the largest ever bridge beams in Queensland to take out a top industry award.

How Universal Cranes’ M16000 lifted the largest ever bridge beams in Queensland to take out a top industry award.

The Manitowoc M16000 crawler, fitted with the capacity-enhancing MAX-ER attachment, recently completed a challenging task on the Lucinda Drive Overpass lifting the longest Precast Concrete Beams ever lifted in Queensland.

The over pass is a major part of The Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) delivery of a $110 million upgrade to Port Drive and the local road network, delivering safer and more efficient port roads. This upgrade, which is being brought forward well ahead of capacity demand, will help ensure the Port of Brisbane continues to meet the needs of industry and customers as trade grows. The upgrades include the duplication of Port Drive, the construction of a four-lane overpass over the Port Drive and Kite Street intersection, upgrades to the Tanker Street/Osprey Drive road network as well as the duplication of Lucinda Drive Bridge on Fisherman Islands.

Universal Cranes was engaged by Seymour Whyte to complete the challenging task of lifting and placing Australia’s longest pre-stressed concrete girders. Universal Cranes’ 400-tonne Manitowoc M16000, fitted with the capacity enhancing MAX-ER attachment, successfully placed 17 girders as part of the upgrade.

The Lucinda Drive Bridge Beam Placement set a new record for the longest pre-stressed girders ever placed in Queensland. It was also an Australian first innovation in the use of Quickcell Super Girders (QSGs) and is the largest placement and one of the first major road projects to employ the use of Enrobés à Module Élevé Class 2 (EME2) asphalt. Universal Cranes achieved a lift engineering feat in the placement of the record length components, with the longest span measuring approximately 46 metres.

With the overall bridge span at 110 metres, constructing a pier in the region was not viable due to buried services and major Energex power lines responsible for supplying the entire port area. Thus, a new type of beam was developed by Quickcell Technology Products and Arup. QSGs can reach spans longer than the traditional Super T girders currently preferred by road authorities across Australia, which can be built to a span of up to approximately 36 metres. The girders used on the Port Drive Upgrade project are 46-metre pre-cast pre-stressed simply supported single length bridge girders and are an Australian first innovation.

The QSG design reached an impressive 46 metres in length providing a solution to a major project risk of underground utilities, specifically a major Energex power line responsible for supplying the entire port area. The 46-metre girder span was able to cross the existing Queensland Rail lines, removing the need for construction works within the rail and services corridor.

Universal Cranes’ scope of work included all planning and management of the lifting logistics and crawler crane hire, as well as the execution of the lifting and placement of the 17 girders. Universal Cranes closely collaborated with Seymour Whyte, ALE and the Port of Brisbane to ensure this complex job was completed within the time constraints and budget.

One of the more challenging aspects of the project was the months of logistical planning required, including detailed lift studies and sequencing. One of the spans (Span 2) had to be erected over a section of Queensland Rail, which required a partial closure of the rail lines over a weekend period. Execution of the lift had to be as efficient as possible to avoid any delays to meet the limitations of the closures. The lifts were meticulously planned to meet the tight time schedule using the M16000 to stockpile the beams onsite and then install the girders efficiently during the closure shift.

Nicolas Navarrete, project manager at Universal Cranes, said the 16000 ensured work completed swiftly and efficiently.

“Placing the girders with the 16000 was relatively simple, and the crane performed perfectly,” he said. “The challenging part of this job was coordinating the delivery of the girders to the job site and ensuring we could handle the work within the relatively short time constraints of the project.

“We utilised our in-house designed lattice boom spreader in our rigging arrangement, which is built from spare boom sections from our fleet of Manitowoc M12000 cranes. The design is a light weight and strong spreader system that we have employed on several successful jobs in the past,” he said.

“By utilising our Manitowoc M16000 with the MaxER configuration, we were able to reduce the cost to our client with a capacity efficient crane as compared to the alternative option of using a much larger capacity crawler crane.

“Our MAX-ER is a cost-effective way of increasing the 16000’s base capacity,” said John Stewart, vice president and general manager for Manitowoc in Australia. “It eliminates the time and expense of transporting and setting up a larger crane.”

The Model 16000 has a maximum capacity of 400 tonnes and can accommodate up to 96 metres of main boom. Up to 42.7 metres of fixed jib or 84 metres of luffing jib is also available for the crane. For the job, Universal Cranes configured the 16000 with 54 metres of main boom and 437 tonnes of counterweight, including the MAX-ER attachment.

All lifts were completed without a hitch, on time and on budget thanks to the team effort in careful lift planning.
The Universal Cranes scope included:

• Planning and methodology development with Seymour Whyte, including concept design and viability

• Lift plans and lift studies development

• Mobilisation of Manitowoc M16000 400-tonne Crawler Crane with MAX-ER

• Supply of operator, riggers and supervisor

• Unloading and storage of girders

• Installation of girders over Port Drive Road and Queensland Rail weekend closures

• Demobilisation of crane

Key equipment utilised:

• Manitowoc M16000 with MaxER configuration

• In-house designed lattice boom spreader bar system

• Quickcell Super Girders.

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