Crossing the Puyallup: Rehabilitating the Veterans Bridge in Puyallup, WA
- Liebherr 500-Ton All-Terrain Crane
The Veterans Bridge–previously named Milwaukee Bridge–provides access across the Puyallup River in Puyallup, WA, for 10,000 vehicles a day. After standing strong since 1962, load restrictions were first posted in 2009 for the cast-in-place box girder bridge. In 2012, reports projected that the bridge would need replacement or refurbishment by 2022.
As an important access across the river for the surrounding area, plans to rehabilitate the bridge’s structural integrity have been in motion for several years. Earlier this year, Omega Morgan’s crane services team was called in to provide expert crane lift and placement services for the rehabilitation project.
CRANE SERVICES TO THE RESCUE
The contractor awarded the project by the City of Puyallup was looking for a safe and efficient crane company capable of completing the job on a strict timeline. They reached out to Omega Morgan’s Seattle crane services team, with the vital task of installing four massive concrete beam girders to provide essential support to the bridge. With one month to plan the installation, our crew got to work surveying the area and identifying potential challenges.
Installing the concrete support beams would require positioning a heavy-capacity crane on abutments along the riverbank, with sufficient reach to lift the beams from the truck to the bridge. This presented a seemingly impossible challenge because the abutments were too far from the bridge for the crane to work from. Nearby power lines also posed potential interference.
After reviewing several possible solutions, our team developed a plan using crane mats to build up the abutments–swiftly solving both problems by bringing the crane closer to the bridge, avoiding the powerlines, and, as a bonus, improving truck access to the site. As our work was imperative to the next segment of construction, accuracy and efficiency were top priorities. When the contractor scheduled installation for the end of July 2021, Omega Morgan’s crane services crew were ready to get to work.
PUTTING THE SERVICE IN CRANE SERVICES
The team carefully installed the girders over a period of three days. Our crew consisted of a crane operator, rigger, superintendent, and four truck drivers. Day one began with the transport of Omega Morgan’s Liebherr 500-ton all-terrain crane to the job site. Our crane service team then built up the abutments with crane mats, allowing the crane sufficient bridge access to install the girders. The following day, the crew unloaded the four precast concrete girders, each weighing 88,000 pounds and measuring 69’ long by 4’ high by 3’ wide, and installed them into the north and south ends of the bridge. The final day of the project involved dismantling the crane, detaching the crane mats from the abutment, and removing the equipment from the construction site after a job well done.
Our client was extremely pleased with the safe and timely installation of the precast concrete beams and our ability to overcome challenges and accomplish the work according to plan. Omega Morgan is proud to have been a part of the refurbishment of this critical piece of infrastructure.