Lexington, KY – The contract for SC Route 9 Bridge over the Catawba River in Lancaster, South Carolina requires the placement of 170 ft. bulb-tee beams weighing 200,000 lb. (90 718 kg). The beams are some of the longest ever erected in the state of South Carolina. In order to place the beams, United Infrastructure of Great Falls, South Carolina purchased a brand new 250-ton (227-mt) 298 Series 2 lattice crawler crane, as well as a 298 HSL.

The new westbound bridge is constructed on an aggressive 13-month schedule in the same location as the previous westbound bridge; both directions of traffic are being carried on the adjacent eastbound bridge. 

Only half of the 500 ft. (152.4 m) wide river could be blocked off at one time during construction with barge platforms. The two Link-Belt’s efficient footprint allowed for greater river width, and also eased the logistics of barge placement.

Each crane used identical rigging consisting of 40 ft. (12.1 m) long, doubled over nylon Kevlar-reinforced slings rated at 200,000 lbs. (90 718 kg) each. With 100 ft. (30.4 m) of boom in one crane and 120 ft. (36.5 m) on the other, there was plenty of headroom to pick the beams off the existing bridge and place them on the new pier caps, or swing them 180 degrees directly behind the crane to the storage barge for later placement.

The tandem lifts required operators Jeremy Talley and Brian Craig to synchronize their moves while lifting, swinging, booming, and lowering. They encountered no problems operating the large capacity Link-Belt 298 rigs; having done similar lifts with United’s 218HSL (110-ton) lattice crawler cranes with smaller beams for the spans over the low-lying flood plains on each side of the river.

As equipment manager, Keith Ernandez confirmed, “We have been working with our dealer, Pinnacle Cranes, for a very long time. It’s a relationship that makes us feel that we are being taken care of in all aspects with quick response times. They stand behind the equipment they represent. Right now and over the years Link-Belt has been a very good product, so there is no reason to change.”