The Impossible Task: building a temporary bridge in a Port Angeles rainforest
- (1) 500-ton Liebherr Crane LTM 1400-7.1
Sometimes, a job comes along that everyone says can’t be done. Maybe the space looks too tight, or the execution would be too complicated. The decks seem stacked against getting the project done.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources found themselves in just such a situation. They needed a bridge replaced in an area of rainforest near Port Angeles, WA. They were working with Minner and Company, an expert in grading and excavation in the Pacific Northwest, to build a road that would allow the department to complete some much-needed land management projects in the area.
The major challenge was constructing a bridge to get over an extremely steep ravine. The general sentiment was that due to the landscape and the extremely tight conditions in the area, there would be no way to get a machine in to build the bridge.
Luckily, Minner and Company knew that you just need the right equipment and the right team for a project like this.
Long way down and no wiggle room
The area was challenging for a number of reasons; first, since this was protected land, the crews had to be careful about the number of trees that were removed to complete the job. They couldn’t clear the amount they normally would, so the working area was very tight.
It was also a remote location–about three hours outside of Seattle–so getting equipment to the site required more thought and planning. And to top it all off, the ravine that the bridge would be built over was extremely deep, and there was currently no access to the other side.
The Right Team for the Job
Our crane services crew used a 500-ton Liebherr crane to fly a 20,000 pound PC-88 Komatsu excavator to the other side of the ravine in order to dig the bridge footings. This is not the typical method of transporting machinery–but given the circumstances, our crew innovated to make sure the right equipment got where it needed to be.