Shuttlelift has supplied two ISL mobile gantry cranes to James Construction Group, which is reconstructing a critical stretch of Louisiana Highway 1 (LA 1) between Port Fourchon and Leeville, LA. A Shuttlelift ISL 55B and an ISL 70B are working at the project handling precast concrete bridge sections and girders.Shuttlelift’s Dan Reinholtz explained that a seven mile stretch of the highway has been elevated 22 feet higher than the old roadway in order to counteract flooding that the old LA 1 suffered due to subsidence and coastal erosion. Reinholtz said: “Because of the difficult terrain, both ISL’s are operating on temporary rail tracks that are being piled-in to run alongside the elevated section, in ‘leap-frog’ style, picking up pre-delivered and precast concrete bridge sections and girders.”
The company said “this unusual operational feature meant that both ISLs had to be specially built to operate on rails, while retaining the ability to be converted back to traditional rubber tired gantries once the job is complete.”Lew Love, vice president of equipment for James Construction, said: “It was important that both cranes could be converted back for resale purposes because, once this construction contract is finished, it is unlikely the cranes would be used cost effectively. This was a significant factor in the choice of Shuttlelift mobile gantry crane for this project.” Love said his company was impressed with the operational method of the gantries. “Because the ISL 55B can pass underneath the ISL 70B, which in turn passes over the ISL 55B, construction progress is much quicker as material is continuously ferried to the construction site,” he said.
When complete, the LA 1 Bridge will have been built from the top down so as not to disturb the delicate ecological system of the marshes and bayous it traverses. The LA 1 highway and replacement bridge will link Port Fourchon and the rest of the state and is an important roadway. Approximately 30% of all the oil that is imported into the US comes through Port Fourchon, and LA 1 will serve as a crucial hurricane evacuation route for the area’s 30,000 residents.