Connecting the towns of Gelibolu (Gallipoli) on the European side of Turkey with Lapseki on the Asian side, Turkey’s 1915Çanakkale Bridge will be the longest span suspension bridge in the world. At a total length of 4.6kms with a central span of more than 2kms supported by 318m-high bridge towers, the engineering feats to construct the bridge are staggering – and so were the heavy lifting requirements.
Our challenge was to develop a heavy lifting solution for the construction of the bridge towers that would decrease the construction program and associated risk, reduce cost and increase safety – while working 24/7 over water in a high wind area and an earthquake zone in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Working with the DLSY JV, we developed a solution using two of our M2480Ds that allowed large, modularised sections of the bridge towers to be fabricated in a controlled environment offsite before being delivered to the worksite by barge for installation instead of lifting smaller components and welding on-site.
The unparalleled lifting capacity of our M2480Ds was a game changer for the project, with two ‘world firsts’ during construction of the bridge towers. By modularising the structure into larger, heavier sections our solution reduced the number of lifts and the overall construction schedule.
When the DL E&C–Limak–SK ecoplant–Yapi Merkezi Joint Venture (DLSY JV) won the contract to construct the 1915Çanakkale Bridge, they had a clear idea about how they wanted to build the project, but they needed a craneage partner who could think outside the box to bring that vision to life.
Through working directly and collaboratively with DLSY JV’s project team on the front-end engineering design, Marr’s team of engineers was able to develop a non-traditional craneage methodology that met all the project requirements and allowed DLSY JV to construct the bridge in the way they wanted. “Getting us involved early in the design stage was key to the success of this project,” said Marr’s Managing Director, Simon Marr.
After working with DLSY JV to develop the craneage methodology for the project, two specially designed 330-tonne capacity M2480D Heavy Lift Luffing (HLL) cranes were shipped from Australia to Turkey, via Singapore. In a combined global effort with our engineers from Australia, the UK and Middle East working together, we fabricated specialised equipment for the project in our Middle Eastern fabrication facility.
Our first milestone on the project was to assemble both cranes on purpose-built quayside foundations. After building the 300 tonne grillages, the next job was to lift them from the quayside and install them at the bridge work front.
Using the 2,200-tonne capacity Taklift 4 floating heavy barge crane, the cranes – each weighing 600 tonnes – were lifted from the quayside and transported to the worksites a kilometre off-shore on the Çanakkale Strait (the Dardenelles). It was the first of two world-first engineering feats on the project.
Using two of our Marr2480D heavy lift luffing tower cranes – each with a lifting capacity of 330 tonnes – our solution allowed large, modularised sections of the bridge towers to be fabricated in a controlled environment offsite before being delivered to the worksite for installation. This helped to de-risk the project by taking the fabrication and associated construction tolerances off critical path.
After climbing the cranes to their final height of 328 metres, the next major milestone was the installation of the upper cross beam (UCB). With the M2480D positioned 328 metres above the water, it took approximately 30 minutes (and a lot of planning) to lift the 155-tonne section into position – creating a new world record for the heaviest lift at height.
By November 2020, DLSY JV had completed construction of the bridge towers ahead of schedule. Working at 24/7 availability, both M2480Ds worked at an average utilisation rate of 20 hours per day to complete:
8 x 160-tonne lifts
36 x 150-tonne+ lifts
208 x 100-tonne+ lifts
After successfully completing the construction of the bridge towers, the M2480D HLLs were climbed down the completed bridge towers and safely recovered. The Bridge is due to open in March 2022.
“The Men From Marr’s have a reputation for technical competence and innovative thinking in developing strategies for heavy lifting projects of this scale, but what has impressed us most is their collaborative approach to finding a solutions that suited our construction methodology and programme, and then delivering it,” said DLSY JV Deputy Project Manager, Mr Alper Alemdarouglu.
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