Chicago bridge construction uses crane alternative

By Christian SheltonFebruary 25, 2021

U.S.-based heavy lift and rigging equipment rental and sales company Engineered Rigging used Enerpac strand jacks to complete a 316-foot span of the Cline Avenue Bridge over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal in East Chicago.

Deploying a customized cantilever segmental bridge lift platform with four strand jacks enabled Engineered Rigging to avoid the disruption of using a floating crane and complete the span without disrupting canal traffic.

The cantilevered segmental bridge lift platform with four strand jacks

The new 6,237-foot Cline Avenue Bridge is an elevated expressway in Northwest Indiana that connects the SR 912 to I-90, crossing over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal in East Chicago. The bridge section over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal comprised 19 precast segments stretching 380 feet column to column.

Engineered Rigging developed a customized cantilever segmental bridge lift platform utilizing back span tie downs to counter the cantilever overhanging the bridge. Four 70-ton Enerpac strand jacks were used to lift the precast bridge segments, measuring 10 feet high, 10 feet deep and 25 to 30 feet wide, and weighing up to 75 tons, into place above the waterway.

Two beams extended from the platform with two strand jacks mounted on each beam. As each new segment was added the platform was moved forward using a combination of Enerpac launching cylinders and low-height skidding system.

As each new segment was added the platform was moved forward using a combination of Enerpac launching cylinders and low-height skidding system

“Cranes are great for lifting heavy objects, but their sheer size and cost often makes them impractical for some applications,” says Christopher Cox, president, Engineered Rigging. “Enerpac strand jacks were integral to the safe and on-time completion of the project. They pack tremendous lifting capacity into a small footprint. The flexibility of the strand jack system has allowed Engineered Rigging to use this equipment on many other projects across multiple industries.”

Engineered Rigging completed the bridge span in just 16 days. The new Cline Avenue Bridge opened on December 23, 2020. The two-lane bridge is expected to carry 10,000 vehicles daily.

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