Grove cranes lift entire bridge

Two Grove TMS900E truck cranes recently lifted and positioned a 48-ton bridge between the towns of Upper Island Pond and Lower Island Pond, Vermont.

The two towns had been separated since 1974. Residents, who had to take a long walk around the town in order to avoid crossing a railroad bridge, petitioned the state and local governments for a bridge directly above the rail line. Thirty years after their first request, the bridge was installed.

Because the railway could not be shut down, the 114-foot bridge had to be installed in one piece. Two cranes were used to control both ends of the bridge as it was lowered into position.

The bridge was first lifted from its construction site adjacent to the railway to a pre-lift position straddling the tracks. The crane operators then controlled the final lift to a set of pre-built staircase abutments using the crane’s electronic operating system. The TMS900E’s load moment indicator gave operators detailed feedback during the lift.

“Having two machines of exactly the same type made the lift very controllable as each crane was able to mirror the other’s actions,” said Brain O’Connell of crane dealer Shawmut Equipment.

Approximately 200 spectators and local residents cheered and blew air horns as the bridge was installed, reuniting the two towns.