Potain rents towers to Portugal viaduct

By Euan Youdale08 November 2011

A Potain MDT 178 flat top tower crane at the Viaduto do Corgo in Portugal where it is constructing p

A Potain MDT 178 flat top tower crane at the Viaduto do Corgo in Portugal where it is constructing pylons

Manitowoc's Portugal office has rented five Potain tower cranes to the Viaduto do Corgo viaduct project in Portugal, where they are constructing pylons.

The manufacturer's office will also manage the cranes throughout the project, while the local Manitowoc Crane care team will be responsible for climbing and relocating them. They are working for Portuguese contractor Soares da Costa and Spanish company FCC, which formed a joint venture to carry out the construction.

At 2,796 m, the viaduct will be one of the longest, and tallest, in the country. Each crane is working with a 45 m jib and is constructing four pylons at a time. The cranes are required to move eight times during the project as the pylons are placed 60 m apart over a distance of 1.6 km.

The cranes include one MDT 178 flat top, with a lifting capacity of 8 tonnes and four saddle jibs from the MD series. There is an MD 235, two MD 238s and an MD 265, each with a maximum lift capacity of 12 tonnes. This provides the capacity to comfortably handle the 6 tonne average loads on the project, said the company.

Apart from moving the cranes around the jobsite, the other major challenge for Manitowoc Crane Care is continually climbing the cranes, said the manufacturer. Working heights on the project range from 70 m to 123 m.

To achieve such heights, the cranes need 30 anchors to secure them to the viaduct structure during the course of the project. Engineers at Manitowoc Crane Care are designing, producing and installing each anchor.

"This is currently one of the highest profile projects in Portugal and one of the most challenging," said Elísio Rangel, Manitowoc area sales manager for tower cranes in Iberica. "We are working closely with the main contractor to ensure the cranes fulfill their part in bringing the highway to life."

Work on the viaduto began in December 2010, and the cranes are due to finish work at the end of 2011. The viaduct is part of the larger Transmontana highway, a €600 million project that will connect Portugal's second largest city of Porto with the Spanish border.

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