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extreme measures

Sterett Crane and Rigging answers bridge hoist call with the Terex® CC2800-1



AURORA, KENTUCKY, July 13, 2012 – Extreme circumstances demand quick and decisive action. In January, a cargo ship struck a section of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge that crosses the Tennessee River near Aurora, Ky., destroying a 322-ft (98.1-m) span of the 3,495-ft-long (1,065.3-m) bridge. Within hours, a team from District 1 of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet went into action to inspect the bridge piers and start the process of distributing a bid request to a list of approved contractors, so the span could quickly be replaced.

Bridge contractor, Hall Contracting of Louisville, Ky. answered the call with Terex® Rough Terrain cranes and Terex® Bid-Well paving equipment to construct and pave the new span. Owensboro, Ky.-based, Sterett Crane and Rigging was called upon to provide the heavy lifting with specialized equipment, including the Terex® CC2800-1 lattice boom crawler crane. Working in tandem with another crawler crane, The Terex CC2800-1 lifted the 640,000-lb (290,299-kg) span onto a barge and then onto the bridge piers, helping the project be completed in less than four months.

It was a job for the record books for the Transportation Cabinet. While necessary, it was one Keith Todd, public information officer for Districts 1 and 2 of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, probably would not have wanted to happen in the first place.

Fateful Night

January 26, 2012 will forever be engrained in Todd’s mind. “I received the call at 8 p.m. that a cargo ship had taken out a long section of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge,” he recalls.

The next 90 minutes were unnerving as crews searched the wreckage and river to verify that there were no vehicles on that section of the bridge at the time of the accident. After confirming that there were no fatalities, District 1 workers from the Transportation Cabinet immediately went into action to address the next critical task: how to repair and restore vehicular traffic to this bridge.

The Eggner's Ferry Bridge is a vital link to the western entrance of the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation area, the top tourist destination in western Kentucky. The closed bridge resulted in a 42-mi (67.6-km) detour, “turning a 22-mile (35.4-m) trip from Aurora to Cadiz into a 64-mi (103-km) journey,” says Todd.

The first step toward bridge repair was to verify that the existing piers were not damaged, which took three weeks to complete. At the same time, engineers converted the bridge’s 80-year-old hand-drawn blueprints into AutoCAD format. The Transportation Cabinet then sent out a request for bids to replace the missing section of the Parker Truss bridge design. “The required completion date was midnight Sunday, May 27th,” says Todd, in time for Memorial Day.

Four contractors submitted bids, and Hall Contracting was awarded the $7 million contract on March 8, six weeks after the accident. With less than 12 weeks to complete the project and have the bridge reopened, Hall’s first order of business was to source more than 300 tons of steel to construct the truss frame. “Unfortunately, the steel mill shut down for a week and a half for maintenance,” recalls Randy Downey, project manager for Hall Contracting. This made meeting the improbable deadline with a $50,000 per day disincentive much more difficult to achieve.

Impossible Mission

With the steel ordered, a construction site was needed to assemble the replacement Warren Truss frame design. With the tight timeframe, the only possible option was building the frame on land and floating it to the bridge site. “We had three nearby river ports, but Hall needed at least four acres of land,” says Todd. “The Eddyville Port north of the bridge was the only available port with enough land,” and that port was nearly 30 mi (48.3 km) from the bridge.

In mid-April, steel began arriving at the site, and Hall’s crews began the daunting construction task. “In 32 days, we received the structural steel, built the truss span, had it floated down the river and set it in place,” says Downey.

On site to aid in truss frame construction were two Terex rough terrain cranes. The Terex® RT555-1 offered crews a 55-ton (50-tonne) rated lift capacity with maximum boom length of 110 ft (33.5 m), while the larger RT780 delivered an 80-ton (72.5-tonne) rated capacity and 126-ft (38.4-m) boom length.

While bridge construction continued, Sterett Crane and Rigging received the contract to plan and execute the tedious task of placing the 322-ft (98.1-m) span onto a deck barge, float it down the Tennessee River and lift it into place from the water. “We were awarded the project on April 24 and had less than two weeks to mobilize 60 truckloads of equipment and be hook-ready by May 7,” mentions Keith Brumley, vice president of operations for Sterett Crane and Rigging.

Lifting by Terex

Sterett moved its new Terex CC2800-1 crane nearly 800 mi (1,287.5 km) from the Port of Baltimore directly to the Kentucky jobsite. Since the crane was commissioned on the Eggners Ferry Bridge project, “it added some time to the assembly effort, but we had the crane rigged in about three days,” says Matt Crisp, Owensboro branch manager for Sterett. “Terex helped the effort by providing two crawler crane technicians to assist with setup.”

The RT555-1 pulled double duty by assisting with the CC2800-1 crane rigging as well as bridge assembly. Sterett’s crews equipped the lattice boom crawler crane with 177 ft (54.0 m) of main boom and the Superlift mast to boost lift capacities. “The Superlift attachment also provided extra stability on the barge,” says Jim Creek, senior product manager for Terex crawler cranes in North America.

To lift the 320-ton (290.3-tonne) bridge span, 352,000 lb (159,664 kg) of main counterweight was added to the crane house and 220,000 lb (99,790 kg) to the Superlift tray. The crane’s hook was configured with a 16-part line. “The CC2800-1 offers 32,000 lb (14,515 kg) of line-pull per line, which provided ample safety factor,” adds Creek.

With both the CC2800-1 crawler crane fully rigged and final assembly of the truss span complete, Sterett’s crews began loading the bridge span onto the deck barge on May 14. Offering a maximum 1,323,000-lb (600,103-kg) rated lift capacity at a 32-ft, 10-in (10-m) radius, the CC2800-1 along with its tandem crawler crane lift partner offered plenty of capacity for the job. “We chose the CC2800-01 because of its capacity, and, since we were working from barges, crawler cranes were the best fit,” says Brumley.

After loading the bridge span onto its barges, the crawler cranes were then positioned on their barges. “The RT555-1 helped to load and unload counterweight onto the CC2800-1 and its Superlift tray, since Sterett’s crews did not want to swing the crawler cranes to the sides of the barges,” says Creek.

The parade of bridge and lifting equipment barges navigated nearly 30 mi (48.3 km) of river on their way from the Eddyville Port to the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge site. “It took roughly six hours to make the trip,” says Crisp. Brumley adds, “With the site being right off the interstate, the only major issue was trying to ensure the safety of the constant stream of spectators throughout the project.”

Crews positioned the crawler crane deck barges upstream from the bridge, while the new bridge span was located on the downstream side. Barge spuds were lowered to maintain positioning in the river.

At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 15, Sterett’s crews rigged the crawler cranes to the 322-ft-long, 32-ft-tall and 25-ft-wide (98.1-m x 9.8-m x 7.6-m) bridge span. Care was taken as the two cranes lifted the span in unison from the barges. “There was no room for error,” says Crisp.

Sterett’s operators lifted the span at a 72-ft (21.9-m) radius with a 15-ft (4.6-m) elevation. The truss frame left the deck barges on its way to an established 45-ft (13.7-m) radius at a final 55-ft (16.8-m) lift elevation. The operators then boomed back the load to place it on the piers. “The CC2800-1 delivered very smooth and precise operation in a tight situation when setting the span,” adds Crisp.

By 2:45 p.m., less than 6 hours after the hoist began, the 322-ft (98.1-m) span was set on its piers. “The CC2800-1 performed flawlessly on a job where time was a critical factor,” says Brumley. “Our employees cannot say enough about the support provided by Terex and reliability of our Terex equipment. The Terex team has gone to great lengths to ensure our success with their crane lines.”

Finishing Touches

After the new bridge span was placed on its piers, one final hurdle remained – deck paving. In less than four days, Hall’s crews finished placing the metal decking, installed rebar and shot 6,000 sheer connectors.

At 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 20, crews began pumping a Class AA 4000 PSI concrete mix onto the new span. Within five hours, 160 yd3 (122.3 m3) of concrete was paved with a Terex® Bid-Well 3600 paver, which was equipped with its swing leg option to deliver zero clearance paving. “On the rail, we had 1-in (2.54 cm) clearance from the paver’s axle to the diagonal supports of the bridge,” says Downey.

On Friday, May 25, the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge was, once again, ready for traffic, two days ahead of schedule. The Kentucky Transportation held a bridge opening ceremony during the morning hours and officially opened the bridge to traffic at 1 p.m. CDT. The first official driver to cross the bridge was Robert Parker, who, on that fateful January 26 night, stopped within 15 ft (4.6 m) of the missing section.

“I have the utmost respect for all the companies involved with accepting the challenge to finish the project under such a tight deadline,” says Todd. “It’s great to live in a time and place where a nearly impossible bid is let and companies step up and put their reputations on the line to get it done.”

About the Terex CC2800-1 Crawler Crane

The CC2800-1 offers a maximum 660-ton (600-tonne) lift capacity at a 32.8-ft (10-m) radius and excellent lifting capacities throughout its entire working range. Its variable Superlift radius increases lifting capacities at further distances away from the crane’s base. A variety of boom configurations, including extensions, luffing jib, windmill kit, vessel lift as well as many other modules are available to increase crane flexibility.

Transportability is improved due to the CC2800-1’s unique open-boom design. These rectangular sections do not sit as high on the trailer as competitive boom designs, and no internal cross bracing allows smaller boom sections to be nested inside of larger sections to reduce the number of trailers required for transport. The CC2800-1 can be equipped with the exclusive Terex® Fall Protection System, winner of this year’s ESTA Safety award, which advances safety when rigging boom sections.

Its innovative IC-1 crane control system features a touchscreen with intuitive pictorial displays for operating ease. The crane’s exclusive Quadro-Drive on-demand system improves operating stability and allows the base to move and spin under load, increasing on-site versatility.

About Terex Rough Terrain Cranes

Regardless of the terrain or confines of the job, Terex rough terrain cranes are built with the ruggedness, power and precision to get the job done safely and efficiently. The broad crane line boasts three steering modes, compact and durable design, telescoping boom under full load, and comfortable and ergonomic cab with intuitive controls.

Built with a powershift transmission featuring six forward and rearward speeds, Terex rough terrain cranes offer standard four-wheel drive, allowing them to navigate even the harshest terrain to reach the place of operation. Three-mode steering allows these cranes to clear obstructions and quickly maneuver around confined jobsites.

About Sterett Crane & Rigging

Born out of a family-owned construction company in 1949, Sterett Crane & Rigging has grown into an industry leader, offering crane service, contract rigging, heavy hauling and aerial equipment rental. Today, this large Midwestern company serves a broad customer base reaching a more than 300-mi (483-km) radius from its Owensboro, Ky. home office.

Sterett is known for delivering high customer satisfaction, striving to deliver an efficient and professional service experience to its customers. To satisfy virtually any lifting challenge encountered from its broad customer base, Sterett has added more than 50 Terex crane models to its fleet over the past 18 months.

For more information on Sterett Crane & Rigging, visit  

About Terex
Terex Corporation is a diversified global manufacturer of a broad range of equipment that is focused on delivering reliable, customer-driven solutions for many applications, including the construction, infrastructure, quarrying, mining, shipping, transportation, refining, energy, utility and manufacturing industries. Terex reports in five business segments: Aerial Work Platforms; Construction; Cranes; Material Handling & Port Solutions; and Materials Processing. Terex offers financial products and services to assist in the acquisition of equipment through Terex Financial Services. More information can be found at


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