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Barnhart’s spectacular column move

Barnhart Crane & Rigging has completed the transportation of a 317-ft (96.6 m) column vessel in Texas, which involved crossing the San Bernard River in eye-catching fashion.

The depropaniser column was one of nine components to be transported by Barnhart.

The oversized cargo was placed on Goldhofer transporters at the fabrication shop in Houston, before being driven onto a barge and transported by water to Freeport, Texas.

From there, it was a 50-mile (80.5-km) overland journey to the construction site in Old Ocean, Texas, where a fracking unit is being built.

Barnhart faced the challenge of moving the piece across a bridge spanning the San Bernard River. Given that the 800,000-lbs (362.9-tonne) column was deemed too heavy for one bridge, both spans of the bridge were used. Each end of the column was placed on turntables for the manoeuvre.

There was enough length between the bolsters to successfully get the two trailers on each bridge span. While the bridge was closed to north and southbound traffic, the load made its way across the bridge at 5 mph (8 km/h). It cleared the guardrails by approximately 4 ft (1.21 m).

Once across the bridge, a paved crossover was used to get the load back together, said Barnhart. At the construction site, the cargo was self-offloaded onto beams and jack stands.

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