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Mobile cranes deliver steel for Scottish bridge

Engineers in Scotland have called on the services of one of Europe’s largest mobile cranes to help lift steel bridge sections into place over the River Clyde near Glasgow.

They used a 2,000 tonne capacity Demag PC9600 strut jib crane to hoist huge 90 m long, 300 tonne girders into position as part of the £445 million, M74 Completion Scheme.

The project will see the final 8 km of motorway completed to form the link between the M74 in south east Glasgow and the M8.

As part of that scheme, main contractor Interlink M74 – a joint venture between Morrison Construction, Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall and Sir Robert McAlpine – is installing two steel bridges at Rutherglen Station and Auchenshuggle.

Thanks to the limited working area and the span across the river, the seven 90 m girders for the Auchenshuggle Bridge were placed as full spans. With a maximum lift of 314 tonnes at a 72 m radius, the crane needed 900 tonnes of counterweight to safely raise and lower the sections. More than 1,800 tonnes of steel was lifted into position during the installation period.

At Rutherglen Station, 54 half girders were delivered to site and welded together to form 27 full box girders ranging between 16 m to 33 m. These were then assembled into longer lengths and lifted into position over a 16-lift schedule of between 70 and 90 tonnes. Each of the 16 lifts were carried out over two and a half hour rail possessions on 16 consecutive evenings.

The completed M74 link road is due to open in June 2011 and is being carried out for partnership client Transport Scotland, the principle funder, and Glasgow City, South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Councils.

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