A Manitowoc 7000 is assisting in the construction of a cable-stayed bridge in St. Louis, Missouri. T

A Manitowoc 7000 is assisting in the construction of a cable-stayed bridge in St. Louis, Missouri. The 350-ton crane is being used to construct two towers that will support the bridge.

A Manitowoc 7000 is taking center stage on the construction of a cable-stayed bridge in St. Louis, MO., that will span the Mississippi River. The 350 ton capacity crane is being used to construct two towers that will support the bridge.

The Manitowoc 7000 is pedestal-mounted on a 93 foot by 195 foot barge. It is being used to lift preassembled rebar cages into place. These cages will form the base for the two 406 foot towers that will support the bridge. The crane will perform over 70 rebar cage lifts, weighing from 45,000 pounds to over 100,000 pounds.

The crane is currently configured with 325 feet of main boom and a 60 foot jib. As the project progresses, the crane will be reconfigured with 400 feet of main boom and 60 feet of jib to provide a tip height of 460 feet.

Massman Construction of Kansas City owns and operates the Manitowoc 7000. Massman is the lead contractor in a joint venture, which includes Traylor Brothers of Evansville, IN, and Alberici Constructors of St. Louis.

Dale Helmig, project manager for Massman Construction, said that having the large-capacity crane onsite will help them stay on schedule.

"The Manitowoc 7000 saves us time," he said. "There would be no way we could meet the schedule without preassembling these rebar cages."

After the towers are complete, the Manitowoc 7000 will be used in conjunction with other Manitowoc crawler cranes on the project to lift the field sections into place for the bridge span. These sections measure 50 feet long x 94 feet wide and weigh 200,000 pounds.

Other Manitowoc crawlers on the project include two Manitowoc 2250s, a Manitowoc 4100W and a Manitowoc 4000W.

One of the 2250s, configured with 250 feet of main boom, is being used to pour concrete on one side of the river while the 4100W is pouring concrete on the other side of the river.

The other 2250 is configured with a 210 feet main boom and is being used as a support crane on the project.

The $229 million Mississippi River Bridge project is a new four-lane bridge crossing the Mississippi River connecting downtown St. Louis and southwestern Illinois. When complete, the bridge will be part of Interstate 70. With a 1,500 foot main span, it will be the third-largest cable-stayed bridge in the United States. The bridge will be open to traffic in 2014.

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