Three towers to build 1.3 km suspension bridge

By Euan Youdale05 October 2009

E D Knutsen Maskin AS has supplied three Liebherr 280 EC-H 16 Litronic tower cranes to build the Hardanger Bridge across Norway's second largest fjord.

Spanning 1,310 m, it will be the country's longest suspension bridge and the world's seventh longest. With the associated 2.4 km tunnel and 0.8 km of road between the tunnel and the bridge, the development will replace the existing ferry service between Brurvik and Brimnes. Completion is scheduled for 2013.

The concrete works, including the towers, were awarded to domestic contractor Veidekke Entreprenor, while the steel deck and cable works went to MT Hojgaard, in Denmark. The tunnels are being built by AF Skandinavia.

Total length of the Hardanger Bridge is 1,380 m. The small difference between length and span (70 m) is because the fjord quickly becomes very deep and the towers must stand near the shore. The very short backspans lead directly into tunnels on each side of the fjord, the new tunnel on the south side and an existing tunnel on the north side. The bridge will have a clearance above mean high water at mid-span of 55 m.

Knut Haugmo of E D Knutsen Maskin, based in Norway, said the three Liebherr 280 EC-H 16 Litronic tower cranes were selected for their ease of erection in the difficult terrain and their high-load, fast-lift capacity. Capacity is 16 tonnes and they lift 3.1 tonnes at the end of a 70 m jib.

"Two of the cranes will be used for assembling the towers and will be fastened to the side of the structure, giving them an eventual 200 m hook height," Haugmo explained. "The third crane, which is being installed later during the project, on the south side, will function at its designed height of 86.8 m and will be used for lifting associated with the road, tollway system and the tunnel."

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