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Benefits of Gantry Cranes - Two Recent Projects - Experience - Contact Info

North American Industries specializes in designing cranes for bridges and elevated highways to handle the materials necessary for repairs and construction projects. At one time, highway and heavy construction contractors would almost exclusively use towers and crawlers for job-site lifts. Now they are increasingly turning to overhead cranes for bridge, subway, and tunnel construction and repair. North American Industries custom engineers the cranes:

  • with spans appropriate for the widths of the bridges or roadways (up to 150 ft)
  • the ability to power through and navigate inclines
  • the endurance for extreme weather conditions
  • the ability to accommodate wind, flexing of the bridge, power source, and limited area

"Off the shelf" material handling equipment will not suffice for bridge work and elevated highway projects, however, because North American Industries is efficient in our made-to-order process, these custom cranes are designed at competitive prices. Call or e-mail your specifications to request a quote.

Benefits of Our Gantry Crane(s)

  • An Investment that can be reconfigured for the next project or resold (as opposed to renting equipment which can often incur as much cost)
  • Often weighs less and requires less space than lattice-boom or hydraulic cranes
  • More efficient because our cranes are designed specifically for the application

Two Major GCs Find Gantries To Be Perfect Solution for Bridge Work

As word spreads that gantry cranes are a practical solution for bridge and elevated roadway work, recently two more major construction projects use this technology to their advantage. Skanska was awarded $199M contract by Georgia’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to rebuild a section of the I-95 highway, including a 1,000m bridge over Turtle River in Georgia. A few states away, the Louisiana DOT awarded a $137M job to James Construction to build an eight-mile, two-lane elevated highway between Leeville and Port Fourchon including a bridge at Leeville. Both contractors turned to North American Industries who specializes in this niche market of custom-engineered gantry cranes for bridges and elevated highways.

Georgia I-95 Highway / Turtle River Bridges – Gantry Crane

Knowing both the merits of gantry cranes and the work of North American Industries in engineering them, Skanska asked North American Industries to design and manufacture a customized 25 ton double girder double leg gantry crane for the project. This gantry crane system includes:

  • Trolley designed for maximum cross slope of 1% Turtle River Bridge Gantry Crane
  • End trucks designed for maximum longitudinal slope of 3%
  • NEMA 4 weatherproofing
  • Cold weather protection
  • Emergency brakes that will stop the crane in 12’ and act as a hold down (brake sufficient for a 50 MPH wind velocity)
  • Completely bolted construction to facilitate erection as well as disassembly for easy relocation
  • Radio remote controls
  • Full length catwalk with access ladder on 1 leg.

The gantry crane will play an important role in the bridge work improving infrastructure in Georgia. Interstate I-95 is one of the longest freeways in the US, extending from southern Florida via the east coast up to Canada. This project is scheduled for completion in October 2009.

Louisiana Leeville Bridge – Custom Crane Technology Solves Material Handling Dilemma Caused by the Swampy Bayou Area

James Construction was tasked with building an eight-mile elevated highway including a new high-level bridge at Leeville.Placement of material handling equipment was a concern for James Construction on this Louisiana DOT project due to the swampy bayou area over which the elevated road was being built. With limited space and unreliable or unusable marshland below the roadway, the contractor had to build in front of them as they went forward extending the road further. James Construction determined that they wanted to place a crawler type crane on a large platform that would be able to move forward as the project progressed. Railroad bogies and other ideas were explored to support the equipment but were deemed too expensive or ineffective.

Gantry Crane End TrucksWhen James Construction contacted North American Industries, a solution was finally reached. North American Industries engineered and built gantry crane end truck mechanisms to drive the platforms forward. North American Industries’ final design criterion was for a load of 2.2 million lbs (550 kips per corner of the platform, operating on 104 lb/yd rail). Each platform travels on four end truck assemblies with eight wheels at each corner. The four end truck assemblies were designed for synchronized operation from a single adjustable frequency drive housed in a NEMA 4 watertight enclosure. The end truck assemblies were built with hurricane locking devices to prevent damage in the event of a storm.

Gantry cranes are fast becoming the equipment of choice for contractors engaged in bridge and elevated highway repair work.

Difficulties with Lattice Boom and Hydraulic Cranes

Consider a work zone of limited area - the removal of decks from sections of active roadway, for instance. There is typically not enough room to set up a lattice-boom or hydraulic crane, and therefore the crane must be erected outside the work zone, often requiring that parts of the road be closed to traffic. Such an operation is then restricted to a few nighttime hours—sometimes as few as five, with two reserved for setting up and taking down the crane. And since the work crew must be compensated for a full eight-hour shift, wasted operating costs soon grow exponentially.

Examples of North American Industries' Extensive Bridge and Elevated Highway Experience:

Bronx Whitestone Bridge (view HOIST magazine article about this project)
Queens Boulevard Bridge
Williamsburg Bridge
Triborough Bridge
Portable crane for work on several bridges on the Ohio River
Crane for the I-81 work in Harrisburg, PA (request a copy of Constructioneer magazine describing this project)

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