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News Release

Manitowoc and Grove bridge the gap over Duck Creek


Leighton Contractors called on the planning and lifting expertise of Brisbane-based Universal Cranes, to assist with construction of a new bridge over Duck Creek, close to Ballina, New South Wales, Australia. The bridge forms part of the much larger Pacific Highway update project which has been commissioned jointly by the Australian and New South Wales governments. 

To handle the lifting work on the 117 m long Duck Creek Bridge, Universal Cranes selected its 450 t capacity Grove GMK7450 all-terrain crane and its 275 t capacity Manitowoc M-250T lattice boom truck crane. The units worked in tandem to install 21 bridge beams, each weighing up to 82 t. 

Universal Cranes proposed the tandem lift solution as an alternative to using a single large crawler crane for the work. This option saved both time and money compared with the single large crane solution. In addition to providing and managing the cranes, Universal also managed the delivery of the bridge beams, using special beam transportation trailers to move the loads from their casting facility, 200 km away in Coffs Harbour. 

For the lifting part of the project, Universal engineered a custom-built load triangle as part of the rigging, to equalize 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. 

“There were many factors to consider in the transportation and lifting work for this job,” said Nick Morris, engineering and sales manager at Universal Cranes. “Particularly the logistics of the transportation work, the design of the load triangle and the positioning of the cranes. In the end, the combined lifting power of the Grove and Manitowoc cranes ensured the project was completed efficiently and within budget.” 

The Manitowoc M-250T 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 t and its boom can be configured up to 54.9 m. The strength of the M-250T was complemented by the power of the Grove GMK7450. With a lifting capacity of 450 t, it’s the most powerful mobile crane in the Grove range. The seven-axle crane features a 60 m main boom, which was rigged with the capacity-enhancing MegaWingLift attachment to boost its lifting power on the Duck Creek Bridge project. In addition to the two main lift cranes, Universal also used its new 60 t capacity GMK3060 all-terrain crane to assist with rigging and general material handling duties on the job. 

The project was completed in two weeks. Duck Creek Bridge is part of an extensive upgrading of a 2.3 km stretch of the Pacific Highway, between Pimlico Road and Teven Road. This work is all overseen by Leighton Contractors as part of its job to manage the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade, which will be split into three phases. 

The 965 km Pacific Highway is one of the busiest roads in Australia, running along the central east coast. The highway is in the process of being upgraded into a dual carriageway, with a four-lane divided road, to keep up with increased traffic flows between Sydney and Brisbane. Work started in 1996 and is expected to complete in 2020. 

Founded in 1993, Universal Cranes operates an extensive fleet of crawler and all-terrain cranes from its eight branches. 

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 116-year tradition of providing high-quality, customer-focused products and support services to its markets and its 2018 net sales were approximately $1.8 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Manitowoc, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, markets, and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, and boom trucks under the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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