Dueling Cranes with Copenhaver - La Grange Crane Service, Inc.

Dueling Cranes with Copenhaver

Rent crane


Copenhaver Construction


Calumet River

La Grange sends two fully loaded mega machines off path to hoist a 120,000 lb steel bridge from opposite sides of the Calumet River. The publicly funded project was headed by Copenhaver Construction and required a little extra support from an Ozinga barge and a 700-horsepower tugboat. Eighteen months of project planning culminated in a perfect tandem crane pick that you need to see to believe.

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 Riley Pettrone, Project Manager, 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 Construction was awarded the $2.4 million-dollar contract with La Grange’s DBE certification, budgetary numbers, and lift plan in hand.

Blue Island Bridge Pick Plan

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

Blue Island Bridge Route

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, Riley Pettrone, 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.

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