The new bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, with the world’s tallest pylons. It was completed in 43 months.
The two Potains were anchored on one of the 324m tall pylons, on the Vladivostok side of the bridge. They were used every day until the end of the project. Their final job was to install Freyssinet stay cables on the pylon and to remove scaffolding platforms and other auxiliary equipment.
The 50t capacity MD1100 started at a free standing height of 81 m and climbed to a working height of 335 m. The 16t capacity MDT 368, eventually reached 324 m. The cranes were configured with 60m and 40m jibs respectively.
During the build, the cranes lifted a variety of equipment and construction materials, including concrete, formwork, steel reinforcement, steel structures and temporary bracing beams in loads of up to 30t. Among the most challenging lifts, which were undertaken by the MD 1100, was placing metallic blocks to connect cable stays to the top of the pylon. Each 22t block was lifted more than 325m at a radius of 36m.
A major challenge at the site has been the fluctuating climate. With a temperature range from 33°C to -30°C, and coastal wind variations, operators needed a well-insulated cab and confidence in the cranes’ control to lift up to 30t loads at such great heights.
The cranes were bought directly from Manitowoc for the project by the bridge’s designer and sub-contractor OOO NPO Mostovik. Vladimir Romanov, lead engineer in the Bosfor industrial engineering team at the company, said the two Potain cranes offered the strength and versatility to meet the demanding build schedule.
“The Potains have operated in all conditions and completed a huge variety of heavy lifts. We are delighted to have finished on time,” he said.
The ambitious 43-month build schedule, which started in 2008, was set to ensure the bridge opened in time for the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vladivostok, which took place at the start of October 2012.
Once their work was complete, the cranes self-dismantled until the final stages when the MDT 368 was dismantled by the MD 1100, and the MD 1100 was dismantled with the help of a mobile crane. The dismantling for the MDT 368 took one month and 20 truckloads while the MD 1100 took 45 days and 26 truckloads to breakdown. The cranes have now been moved to Mostovik’s yard in Omsk, more than 6,200km away.
The main contractor on the project is OAO USK-Most with OOO NPO Mostovik working as sub-contractor and the bridge’s main designer.