Bigge hauls historic gun barrel

By Shiffler D.Ann05 November 2012

The 120-ton, 16 inch gun barrel was originally a part of the World War II battleship USS Missouri.

The 120-ton, 16 inch gun barrel was originally a part of the World War II battleship USS Missouri.

Bigge Crane and Rigging was recently in the Marin, California USA headlands helping to maneuver a WWII-era gun barrel up a steep and winding hillside to a historic Battery overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

Bigge’s team drafted a plan that utilized a 500-ton capacity gantry system to load a 16 foot wide dual-lane platform trailer with the gun barrel for over-the-road transport. The move originated at the Army Depot in Hawthorne, NV then proceeded to the Marin Headlands and consisted of a four-man crew, two tractors, and the trailer. The crew covered 549 miles over the course of three transport shifts. California Highway Patrol officers were required for escort once entering California.

The 120-ton, 16 inch gun barrel was originally a part of the battleship USS Missouri. The barrel will now rest on a permanent display outside of the empty turret area in Marin, CA USA, where hikers and other visitors can view it alongside the Battery.

On-site, Bigge trans-loaded the barrel to two four-line, bolstered platform trailers and then used a push and pull tractor to navigate the road. It was mandatory that this equipment be used to navigate the steep slope and hairpin turns that provide the only access the Battery. Once at the setting location, a 500-ton capacity gantry with a side-shift system was required to offload, side shift and set the barrel in a tightly constrained location on the hillside.

This high profile job required extensive planning and engineering support, Bigge said. Considering the length and weight of the piece and the grade of the hill, every precaution had to be looked after to ensure the safety of all crew members.

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