Published Feb 28, 2024
In Roads and Bridges


crane image

The Michigan Department of Transportation has undertaken a sweeping reconstruction project of four miles of I-75 through Monroe County in the southeast corner of the mitten. The project includes reconstruction of two pairs of mainline bridges, a box culvert, reconstruction of a three-span overhead bridge, and rehabilitation of two overhead bridges.

Miller Bros. Construction is general contractor on the job, with Jeffers Crane Service, a member of the ALL Family of Companies, providing strategic heavy lift equipment. Cranes specified have included two all-terrain cranes, a Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 and Liebherr LTM-1450-8.1.

The 600-ton capacity LTM 1500 handled solo picks for a box culvert at Sulphur Creek as well as a single-span bridge over Muddy Creek. For the three-span bridge over Otter Creek, The LTM 1500 was able to solo pick bridge beams for both end spans. However, for the center span, an LTM 1450 (550 USt) was also brought to the jobsite for a series of night-time dual picks.

The center span was actually constructed first, set atop piers already constructed in the creek. In one highly efficient night, operators from Jeffers picked and set 10 bridge beams, each weighing approximately 80,000 pounds, in just four hours.

By this point in the project, the northbound lanes of I-75 were completely shut down, and northbound traffic was diverted to two of the southbound lanes. On this night, beginning at 8 p.m., one lane was also shut down to provide room to stage the beams.

“We were fortunate in that we still had existing pavement in place, so the cranes had a flat, even surface from which to work,” said Isaac Burns, project manager with Miller Bros. Construction. “Each crane was able to set up behind an existing abutment.”

The Liebherr LTM 1500 8.1 was configured with 189-feet of boom with Y-frame and 363,800 pounds of counterweight at a 165-foot lift radius. The Liebherr LTM 1450-8.1 was configured with 52 feet of boom, 161 feet of luffing jib, and 295,400 pounds of counterweight, also at a lift radius of 165 feet.

With Jeffers’ operators manning the cranes and Miller Bros.’ crew members handling rigging and securing beams to the span, the team was able to pick and set all 10 beams by midnight.

Engineering and lift plans were developed in conjunction with Miller Bros.’ Andrea Meyer with input from the Jeffers team. Work on the Michigan I-75 project will continue through this year.