This Spring, Blue Island residents will enjoy a new pedestrian and bike path over the Calumet River linking Ashland Avenue and Halsted Street. The proposal aims to improve residential transportation and capitalize on the still-preserved natural environment along the river. In November 2016, the Illinois Department of Transportation opened bid to Item 113 – The Cal Sag Trail Bicycle/Pedestrian Path.
La Grange Crane’s Allison Padilla, Project Manager, and President Judi Mooncotch, Jr devised the pick plan (below) and engaged with all bidding contractors early to accurately bid the project’s crane scope. IDOT mandated a DBE utilization plan for all contractors. In early 2017, Copenhaver Contruction was awarded the $2.4 million-dollar contract with La Grange’s DBE certification, budgetary numbers, and lift plan in hand.
Leading up to the highly visible and public project, Copenhaver and La Grange Crane collaborated on a project plan that would bring two of La Grange’s largest cranes to the middle of the forest on the river’s edge.
Copenhaver Superintendent, Chuck Polito, led a large civil crew to prepare the site for crane access and bridge assembly. Complicating matters, endangered tree species under national protection could not be removed making it impossible to assemble the 195′ long bridge on site. A new plan was hatched.
Just up the river, Ozinga Concrete operates one of the largest distribution centers for raw materials on the Cal Sag channel. The man-made channel was key to Blue Island’s growth in the industrial 1800’s, paving way for hundreds of businesses to stake a claim on the heavily traveled waterway. Ozinga kindly offered their yard for bridge assembly. Better yet, the bridge would be hoisted onto an Ozinga barge and forced up stream with a 700-horsepower tugboat.
A clear and concise plan on paper is only the first step in La Grange Crane’s procedure for safe and efficient crane work. PM, Allison Padilla, visited the site on numerous occasions ahead of crane mobilization, including pre-lift meetings with La Grange Crane Operators, Curt Read and Tim Cahill. A fully informed field team ensures that all working parties are on the same page come pick day.
The final plan called for three days of bridge assembly at Ozinga. 350 Ton La Grange Crane Operator, Tim Cahill, pieced the sections together at grade level. On day four, a single La Grange Crane hoisted the 116,500 lb structure, rotated 180 degrees, and set the bridge afloat on the river barge.
Meanwhile, 550 Ton La Grange Crane Operator, Curt Reed, setup on the East riverbank with full counterweight configuration. Copenhaver’s stabilization of the crane pads were among the most critical components of keeping both cranes 100% supported on fertile land.
One two-hour barge ride later, the pedestrian bridge and tugboat arrived on site where local residents gathered to watch the spectacle.
Both cranes were hooked into opposite sides of the bridge and the signal was given to cable up. In less than three minutes, it was over.
A picture-perfect lift, worth 1,000 words.