The $500 million expansion of the Back River Wastewater Treatment plant in Baltimore involves the construction of one of the world’s largest nitrogen-removal filters, a dozen clarifiers, six large sludge reactors, new pump stations and upgrades to existing facilities. Archer Western/Walsh won the contract for the construction that started early in 2016 and is expected to be completed by mid-2017.
The project involves the excavation of more than 1 million cubic yards of dirt, the pouring of 225,000 cubic yards of concrete and some 7,500 16-19 inch auger-cast piles. In some areas of the jobsite #14 rebar is used, which is generally too heavy for a worker to carry.
While there are several cranes on the job, one brand is a newcomer to the North American market. It’s a new JASO J560 hammer head tower crane, the first such unit working in the United States.
The JASO J560 has a capacity of 5,500 pounds tip load at its 85-meter jib and can free stand at 240 feet. The crane is operating at 110 feet tall with a boom of 246 feet.
“All the feedback we are getting regarding the crane is extremely positive,” said Robert Kohler, vice president of Crane Tech Solutions, the exclusive U.S. distributor for JASO, which is based in Idiazabal, Spain. Crane Tech Solutions (CTS) is based in Portsmouth, VA.
Erected in April 2016, the J560 is known as a low profile hammer head crane. It was assembled in one day by a crew that had not previously erected a JASO. This is good indication of how easy the crane is to erect, Kohler said. The operator, who has been running the crane exclusively said, “This JASO has the fastest, most powerful hoist unit I’ve worked.”
“We’ve delivered four JASO tower cranes this year to the United States and we are very impressed with the quality, advanced technology, value and after-sales support we get from the JASO team,” said Kohler.
The design of the crane is a plus due to the low profile tower top, Kohler said.
“It is between a flat top and a standard tower top,” he said. “The benefits are that it can work near airports and the jib components are lighter and easier to transport than similar-sized flat top designs. All JASO cranes are designed with variable frequency drives which allows for smooth handling of the crane and loads. JASO offers a full line of tower cranes manufactured and designed to European and U.S. safety standards, and they are competitively priced.”
Kohler said the CTS team liked the electric design because it is easy to work on and doesn’t require extensive training of technicians. As the U.S. market for tower cranes expands, Kohler expects JASO to become a major player.
“An opportunity exists for a manufacturer that will modify their designs to meet or exceed U.S. expectations,” he said. “JASO has done this in several markets around the world and when JASO agreed to do this we knew that we could get a piece of the market here. A case in point is that they created the J560 because CTS saw a need for a crane between their largest hammerhead, the J600 and the J420, at a competitive price.”
CTS’s Robert Hileman said the crane is lifting rebar, concrete forms and other materials needed in the construction of the wastewater pools.
“We’ve been very pleased with the production of this machine and we expect to see strong interest in the JASO brand,” Hileman said.