Bridge Reconstruction Using UK Hoists

What’s so unique about the reconstruction of the Longfellow Bridge in Cambridge, Massachusetts?

Two things – continuing flow of traffic during renovation and the use of hoists and cranes manufactured by a UK company.

The UK-manufactured hoists are installed on a customized crane and play a major role in the rehabilitation of the Longfellow Bridge.

MassDOT Project
Through the efforts and funding of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project is undertaken as a major project of Governor Deval Patrick’s Accelerated Bridge Program. Providing the vital link between Cambridge and Boston, the historic Longfellow Bridge known for its pepper-pot towers, makes important connections in the region and contributes to the Charles River Basin Historic District.

Rehabilitation of the Longfellow Bridge is a major project of the Department of Transportation.

Upgrading The Bridge But Maintaining Historic Character
The bridge’s rehabilitation project which is projected to last three and a half years will address the current deficiencies in structural elements, upgrade the structural capacity of the bridge and keep it updated to modern code including improvement of the multi-modal access to comply with accessibility guidelines. Repairs and modifications will not in any way replace the historic character of the bridge and comply with environmental standards. Project is expected to be completed in 2016.

The proposed design of Longfellow Bridge.

Hoists Installed On A Customized Crane
Renovation of the 107 year old Longfellow Bridge that spans 1.5 miles over the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts started in March, 2014 with the cleaning and preparation of the contractor’s staging area.

Hoists have been manufactured and delivered from the United Kingdom by the Street Crane Company. Hoists manufactured specifically for the Longfellow Bridge are installed on a customized crane built by the local distributor of the UK Company.

Bridge Carrying Rail, Road And People
The Longfellow Bridge carries both the rail and road connections and around 90,000 people per day, which is the main challenge for the crane. The UK’s local distributor has built a double girder gantry crane which is 40 feet wide and features two 7.5 ton ZX hoists that will provide greater stability when handling ungainly and large structural elements. Additionally, independent power is provided by an integral generator installed on a cantilever to the crane, eliminating the need for a conventional power source.

The Longfellow Bridge carries road and rail connections and about
90,000 people everyday.

Limiting The Hoists’ Tonnage Capacity
While the hoists are designed to carry 7.5 tons, the contractor has limited the weight capacity of the hoists, used independently or in tandem to 6 tons to ensure safety. The hoists are equipped with a load summation device that will prevent excess load.

Repair Work
The construction project has been created to allow continuing flow of traffic. Renovation works entail structural repair on the large steel arches on the 11 spans between the bridge abutments and granite piers. Other work includes repair or replacement of:

  • Columns
  • Spandrels
  • Floor beams
  • Concrete deck

Keeping Original Design
The final scheme will entail refitting the original design cast iron pedestrian railings and fascias secured with the appropriate fastener and hex nuts, and rebuilding the four characteristic pepper-pot towers which locally identifies the bridge.

The rehabilitation of the Longfellow Bridge will not replace the historic character of the four pepper-pot towers distinct to this bridge.

Second Crane Ordered
The main contractor has ordered a second crane and requested a rush delivery in a bid to restore the bridge and speed construction to bring it into full service in the soonest time possible. Responding to the delivery needs and outdoor specifications, the UK Street Crane Company manufactured the hoists in less than two weeks. For the Longfellow Bridge reconstruction, the UK company provided custom-designed and custom-built hoists and cranes that provide stability, safety and structural reliability.

Aren’t you amazed at how this bridge is managed for reconstruction?