A team of 16 Manitowoc, Grove and Potain cranes are working together to help build a €1.7 billion (US $1.9 billion) coastal road around France’s Reunion Island.
The island, situated to the east of Madagascar, will have a 5.4 kilometre viaduct constructed on columns rising out from the Indian Ocean. It will be built to withstand 90 miles per hour (144 km/h) hurricane winds and waves of up to 10 metres.
The new 12.3 km highway will have three lanes in each direction and the cranes will be on site for two years. Scheduled for completion in 2018 it will be France’s most expensive road.
The 16 cranes working on the island are:
- Two Potain MD 485B M20s - a 20 tonne capacity top-slewing tower crane, with a maximum 80 m jib. It has been fitted with a 60 m jib and is working at a height of 45 m.
- Two MDT 368 As - the largest of the flat top MDT range with a maximum jib length of 75 m.
- MD 560 B - a 25 tonne capacity tower crane that can lift up to 5.4 tonnes at jib end.
- Potain K5-50C - a 20 tonne capacity tower crane with a 60 m jib.
- Manitowoc 12000E-1 - a 110 tonne capacity crawler crane with 70 m boom.
- The Grove all terrain cranes on the project include a GMK2035, a GMK3060, a GMK4080-1, a GMK 5130-2, a GMK4100L, a GMK3055 and a GMK5220. These range in lifting capacity from 35 to 220 tonnes.
- The two rough terrain cranes are an RT540E and an RT760E. The RT540E comes equipped with a 9.8 to 31 m four-section full power boom while the RT760E offers a 55 tonne capacity.
Installation of the Potain cranes was completed in September last year, including setting up and erecting the jibs. The cranes were supplied by contractors Vinci Construction Grands Projects and Bouygues TP who own some of the units, along with Grues Levages Investissements (GLI) which provided cranes on rental contracts.
GLI is Manitowoc’s official French dealer for the Reunion Island, Mayotte and Mauritius.
Christophe Simoncelli, Manitowoc vice president of sales for Western Europe and French-speaking Africa, explained that the project faces many challenges as the structure is being built on a maritime site. “Manitowoc has provided exceptional crane solutions as well as a proactive approach to managing this project,” he said. “Potain was selected because it is the world’s leading tower crane brand with a long track record of success. The compact Grove cranes were chosen for their excellent on-site flexibility while the Manitowoc 12000E-1 crawler crane provides outstanding manoeuvrability as it can be extended and retracted as well as its ease of use and low maintenance requirements.”
The coastal highway was designed to replace the existing road built at the foot of a cliff that links the commercial port of Pointe des Galets to the capital Saint-Denis and the Roland Garros international airport. The road is forced to close up to 40 times a year due to landslides and waves.