Australian crane company Marr Contracting Pty Ltd (The Men From Marr’s) has completed a never-before-seen engineering feat with its 330t capacity tower crane lifted into location fully assembled to assist in the construction of the world’s longest span suspension bridge in Turkey.
The unprecedented lift has seen Marr’s M2480D Heavy Lift Luffer (HLL), which at 600 tonnes weighs more than an A380, lifted in one piece – the first time a crane of this size has been lifted fully-assembled.
After being shipped from Sydney in pieces to a dry dock at Gallipoli (Gelibolu), two of Marr’s 2480D cranes were assembled onshore on purpose-built foundations. On November 3, the first M2480D was lifted and transported a kilometre to the middle of the Dardenelles (Çanakkale Strait) by a ‘Taklift 4’ floating heavy lift barge crane, which has a lift capacity of 2200 tonnes. The second crane was carried out onto the water on November 8, with both cranes now set up and ready to begin work on the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge.
The world-first manoeuvre is the first of many engineering feats that Marr’s tower cranes will be involved in during construction of the bridge.
With a total bridge length of 4,608 metres, a central span of 2,023 metres and a total bridge tower height of 318 metres, the feats of engineering required to complete the world’s longest span suspension bridge are staggering.
Impressed by Marr’s track record in designing and delivering large-scale lifting solutions on similarly challenging projects in Australia and around the world, DLSY (Daelim – Limak – SK E&C – Yapi Merkezi) Joint Venture challenged Marr’s team to develop a solution that would decrease the project’s construction time and associated risk for the project.
The world-first engineering solution proposed was the reason Marr Contracting International was awarded the craneage contract after a competitive tender process including some of the world’s leading craneage companies.
Marr’s M2480D HLL cranes, with a capacity to lift up to 330t (about the same weight as 26 double-decker buses), are revolutionising the way bridges are built by lifting heavier modularised components instead of the more traditional approach of lifting smaller components one-by-one and then welding on-site. The M2480D is the only crane in the world that can lift the large components that will make up the two 318m-high bridge towers.
When the M2480D lifts one of the final 165t components to a height of 318m, it will be the world’s heaviest and highest craneage lift.
According to DLSY Joint Venture Deputy Project Manager, Alper Alemdaroglu, the Joint Venture partners wanted a craneage partner who could think outside the box to bring their vision to life.
“We were pleased to award the contract to The Men From Marr’s for their world leadership and technical competence in heavy lifting tower cranes for a project of such scale,” said Mr Alemdaroglu.
Marr Contracting Managing Director, Simon Marr, (one of two brothers who run the family business) said the company’s M2480D cranes were expected to significantly reduce the construction program, leading to lower construction costs and, with less site-based activities, a higher level of on-site safety.
“The sheer lifting power of Marr’s M2480D HLL is a game changer for this project and could forever change the way our industry looks at building bridges,” Mr Marr said.
Due for completion in 2022, the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge will take its place in world engineering history as the world’s longest span suspension bridge, connecting the towns of Gelibolu (Gallipoli) on the European side of Turkey with Lapseki on the Asian side and providing a new heavy transit alternative to the Istanbul Strait passage that will mean faster and more cost-effective freight transport, as well as strengthened economic potential and social bonds for the local community.
The Turkish Government named the bridge in honour and remembrance of the World War I battle that took place between Turkish and Allied forces, with Mr Marr saying this construction project offered a rare opportunity for Australians and Turks to work together on the shores of Gallipoli.
“This is an exciting project for us – not just in engineering terms but emotionally and culturally as well. Gallipoli holds a unique place in the heart and psyche of both the Australian and Turkish people, and for us to work alongside Turkish engineers and construction teams on building this significant legacy project 100 years after WWI is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Mr Marr said.
Seconding the strong historical links between Turkey and Australia, CEO of the joint-stock company established by the Turkish-Korean consortium, ÇOK A.Ş., Mr Mustafa Tanriverdi, said, “The founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, once addressed the ANZAC mothers by saying, ‘Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well’. Now we are deeply honoured to work side-by-side with the grandchildren of those heroes in such a significant location. We share the same commitment to making history with them – this time for the peaceful advancement of humanity. I wholeheartedly thank them for their diligence and dedication. We’ll always appreciate their great contribution to this benchmark project.”
Marrs scope of work on the Project is due to be completed in the second half of 2020 with the bridge itself due to open in 2022.