Marr completes work on highest bridge

By Niamh Marriott23 March 2022

Australian crane company Marr Contracting has completed its heavy lift crane solution for the world’s longest mid-span and highest tower suspension bridge in Turkey.

Marr Contracting used two heavy lift luffing tower cranes (Photo: Marr Contracting)

The company was contacted by the joint venture partners of the project (DLSY) for a craneage solution. DLSY was appointed by the the Turkish Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport General Directorate of Motorways in 2017.

One of multiple subcontractors from a global team of companies engaged to work on the project, Marr’s scope of works on the construction of the 318 metre high bridge towers included engineering the crane solution, its integration into the temporary and permanent works, the supply of two 330 tonne capacity M2480D cranes (including installation, climbing, dismantle and maintenance), and the actual crane operations.

Marr’s approach, using two heavy lift luffing tower cranes, allowed for pre-fabricated, modularised panels weighing up to 160 tonnes to be manufactured off site, transported to site to be lifted in one piece.

“This meant DLSY only had to do around one-eighth of the lifts planned and the sheer lifting capacity of our M2480D cranes allowed for fewer, heavier crane lifts. This helped to de-risk the project and protect the construction schedule because off-site assembly is faster, safer and more accurate, than welding multiple sections at height,” said Marr Contracting managing director Simon Marr.

Early pre planning

Marr said early engagement with DLSY during the front-end engineering stage of the project was key to the project’s success and the constructor’s ability to align a crane solution with their construction methodology.

“The construction schedule was critically important and DLSY wanted to reduce their construction time. They invited us in early to discuss their ideas about their planned construction methodology which was based on traditional construction thinking involving a greater number of lighter lifts. To build the bridge towers, they were going to lift panel after panel, weld them and go again, but we said ‘what if those panels were modularised, joined together in pieces up to 160 tonnes, and we lift them in one piece?”

Record breaking

Marr’s 18 month engagement on the project between 2019 and 2021, saw two world first engineering feats – the placement of the two M2480Ds in a single lift operation 1 km offshore in the Canakkale Strait and the heaviest crane lift at height during the positioning of the upper cross beams on the bridge towers.

“We are incredibly proud to have been part of this project. Our client is a case study in how early engagement and collaboration can drive a successful outcome on any large-scale construction project,” Marr said.

Early opening

The 1915Çanakkale Bridge was completed 18-months ahead of schedule and officially opened in a ceremony attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday 18 March 2022.

Speaking at the opening, Turkish transport minister Adil Karaismailoğlu said, “Our country is one step closer to joining the world’s largest players in investment, production, export and employment. The 1915Canakkale Bridge has become a masterpiece that seals our glorious history as a monument, in a way that befits the memory of the epic battle of Canakkale. Now, instead of a few hours, passing the Dardanelles Strait only takes six minutes.”

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