The $229 million Mississippi River Bridge project is a new four-lane bridge crossing the Mississippi River connecting downtown St. Louis and southwestern Illinois that, when complete, will be part of Interstate 70. A 350-USt-capacity Manitowoc 7000 is being used to construct two towers that will support the bridge.
The crane is pedestal-mounted on a 93 ft x 195 ft barge, and is being used to lift preassembled rebar cages into place. These cages will form the base for the two 406-ft towers that will support the bridge. The crane will perform over 70 rebar cage lifts, weighing from 45,000 to over 100,000 lbs.
The crane is currently configured with 325 ft. of main boom and a 60-ft. jib. As the project progresses, the crane will be reconfigured with 400 ft. of main boom and 60 ft. of jib to provide a tip height of 460 ft.
Massman Construction of Kansas City owns and operates the Manitowoc 7000. Massman is the lead contractor in a joint venture, which includes Traylor Brothers of Evansville, IN, and Alberici Constructors of St. Louis.
Dale Helmig, project manager for Massman Construction, says that having a large-capacity crane available will help them stay on schedule throughout the construction process. "The 7000 saves us time," he says. "There would be no way we could meet the schedule without preassembling these rebar cages."
After the towers are complete, the crane will be used in conjunction with two Manitowoc 2250s, a 4100W and a 4000W crawler crane on the project to lift the field sections into place for the bridge span. These sections measure 50 ft long x 94 ft wide and weigh 200,000 lbs.
One of the 2250s models, configured with 250 ft. of main boom, is currently being used to pour concrete on one side of the river, while the 4100W is pouring concrete on the other side of the river. The other 2250 is configured with a 210 ft. main boom and is being used as a support crane.
With a 1,500-ft. main span, the Mississippi River Bridge will be the third-largest cable-stayed bridge in the United States. The bridge will be open to traffic in 2014.