Crane power: Key Largo bridge project forges ahead

18 March 2008

Affeet of nine Manitowoc and Grove cranes are helping build a bridge in the Florida Keys. There are 42 bridges along the stretch of 182 km of highway that connects the Florida Keys in the southeastern part of the US.

Contractor, Granite Construction, is rebuilding a 10 km stretch of the highway just outside Key Largo in the upper portion of the island chain. This job represents just a portion of the 29 km reconstruction project of US Highway 1, running on the mainland from Florida City to the first Key.

The heart of the project, scheduled for completion in July 2009, is building a replacement for a 65-year-old drawbridge, said Michael Derksen, project manager for Granite Construction.

“Right now we are at the peak of our project and have six crawler cranes and three hydraulic cranes on the job performing different functions. All of the crawler cranes in Granite Construction's southeastern Affeet are on this site,” he said.

There are two Manitowoc model 4100s on the job, one is barge mounted and is servicing drill shaft operations in the channel. The other 4100 is erecting pre-cast concrete girders for the bridge together with the model 888. The Manitowoc model 222 is being used to install 1.8 m x 3 m box culverts and the model 3900 is driving piles for the seawalls at various locations on the job. Meanwhile, the model 777 is assisting with the construction of the bridge substructure.

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