Caldwell custom beam for US highway project

By Hannah Sundermeyer01 June 2020

James J. Anderson Construction (JJA) was recruited by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for construction of a 3.2 kilometre elevated roadway, with ramps, drainage and associated utilities and civil engineering works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The Caldwell Group provided a custom 23 metre-long (75 feet), 20.9 tonne (50,000-pound) capacity beam for lifting 60 rebar cages. JJA is also utilising its Anderson-owned crane fleet.


The two-piece beam is currently being used beneath the hook of a 275 U.S. ton capacity Grove mobile crane.

The two-piece beam is currently being used beneath the hook of a 275 U.S. ton capacity Grove mobile crane to lift the large pier cap rebar cages, as required for concrete reinforcement during the rebuild of a 2.6 kilometer (8,500 foot-long), 30.5 meter-wide (100 foot-wide) overpass. The cages vary in weight, up to 46,000 pounds, and length, up to 26 meters (85 feet). 

bridger 2

The 23-meter long, 50,000-pound capacity beam is being used for lifting 60 rebar cages. The highway project is scheduled for completion next year.

“The beam was designed, manufactured and built in two sections, due to the overall pick length required,” said Tom Eicher, director of engineering, CaldwellI. “It can be used both bolted together at its full length or in individual sections, if required. The rebar cages require support at multiple points from the lifting beam by means of the lower rigging. Multiple lower rigging lugs allow riggers to distribute the weight of the cage to minimise cage deformation. This allows for proper control while handling the lifted load when positioning the rebar cage.”

He added that the upper rigging design arrangement helps further support the lifting beam. The lower lugs are sized for a minimum of three points used to pick up the load. There are 10 lower lug lift points on the full  23-meter long (75 foot-long) assembly, while JJA can use any combination as needed to distribute the load as per their lift plans.

Caldwell supplied the two two-leg chain slings above the beam that are rigged at angles to share the load when both sections of the lifting beam are bolted together and used as an assembly. The synthetic slings above (connected to the crane’s hook) and beneath the beam (connected to the cages), are supplied by JJA. 

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