December 15 - Universal Cranes has used a 450-tonne capacity Grove GMK7450 all-terrain crane and a 275-tonne capacity Manitowoc M-250T lattice boom truck crane to install a new bridge over Duck Creek in New South Wales, Australia.

Universal Cranes was contracted by Leighton Contractors to lift the 117 m long bridge into place as part of the Pacific Highway update project, which was commissioned jointly by the Australian and New South Wales governments.

The two cranes were operated in tandem to install 21 bridge beams, each weighing up to 82 tonnes. Universal explained that using two cranes instead of a single large crawler crane saved both time and money.

In addition to providing and managing the cranes, Universal also coordinated the delivery of the bridge beams to the site from their casting facility 200 km away in Coffs Harbour using bespoke beam transportation trailers.

For the lifting of the beams, Universal engineered a custom-built load triangle as part of the rigging to equalise the weight distribution between the two cranes. The design of the load triangle also allowed each beam to be lifted between the two cranes as they were placed.

Manitowoc Cranes explained that the Manitowoc M-250T model is perfect for bridge beam installation given the strength of its lattice boom and excellent load chart. The crane offers a maximum capacity of 275 tonnes and its boom can be configured up to 54.9 m.

The seven-axle Grove GMK7450 has a lifting capacity of 450 tonnes and features a 60 m main boom, which was rigged with Manitowoc's MegaWingLift attachment in order to enhance its capacity during the Duck Creek bridge project.

In addition to the two main cranes, Universal also used its new 60-tonne capacity GMK3060 all-terrain crane to assist with rigging and general material handling duties on the job.