Project profile: Mission Marrs

Australian heavy-lift specialist, Marr Contracting, uses its self-designed, special purpose, world’s largest capacity tower crane on Turkey’s new 1915 Çanakkale Bridge

Australian heavy lifting specialists, Marr Contracting Pty Ltd., have completed a world-record lift for a tower crane in the construction of Turkey’s new 1915 Çanakkale Bridge.

The company, which also goes by the moniker “The Men From Marr’s”, specialises in tower crane heavy lifts and used one of its M2480D Heavy Lift Luffers (HLL) to undertake the world’s heaviest lift of its kind, hoisting a 155t load to at height of 318m on what will be the world’s longest span suspension bridge. The crane used for the project is the world’s largest capacity tower crane with a lifting capacity of 330t.

The Men from Marr’s (Marr Contracting) are world leaders in the design and delivery of heavy lift luffing tower cranes and heavy lifting services. With more than 90 years’ experience working on large-scale construction projects in Australia and around the world, their expertise spans the large-scale construction, mining, oil and gas, power, nuclear, major transport infrastructure, technology and marine sectors. The company says they are not just a crew and cranes for hire; instead they are “big thinkers and problem solvers who love a challenge with a string of ‘world firsts’ to their name” – including the design of the world’s largest capacity tower crane, the Marr 2480D Heavy Lift Luffing (HLL) crane.

Describing the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge lift, The Men From Marr’s said the M2480D crane was perched 328m above the waters of the Çanakkale Straits between European and Asian Turkey, which the bridge spans, and took approximately 30 minutes to lift a 155t piece of the bridge’s upper cross beam (UCB) to its position 318m above sea level. The installation of the centre section of the UCB on the Asian side of the Çanakkale Strait, completed a major milestone in the construction of the bridge, with the lift taking place at midnight on June 7. The European side was completed 24 hours later, with the final centrepieces installed on both sides of the Bridge at a final height of 318m.

According to the company, the engineering solution that made the world-record lift possible was one of the reasons the bridge constructors DLSY (Daelim – Limak – SK E&C – Yapi Merkezi) Joint Venture awarded the craneage contract to Marr Contracting International in 2017 following a competitive tender process that included some of the world’s leading craneage companies.

Impressed by Marr’s track record in designing and delivering innovative lifting solutions on similarly challenging large-scale projects in Australia and around the world, the DLSY Joint Venture challenged the Marr team to develop a strategy that would decrease construction time and associated risk. The Marr team worked with the DLSY project team to develop a craneage methodology that makes use of the M2480D HLL crane’s capacity to lift heavier modularised components instead of the more traditional approach of lifting smaller components one-by-one and then welding on-site.

Two of Marr’s M2480D cranes have been on-site since last year, constructing the bridge’s 318m high towers, and through fewer lifts of larger pieces the craneage solution has reduced the construction schedule, with less site-based activities and a higher level of on-site safety, said the lifting services company.

Alper Alemdaroglu, deputy project manager, DLSY, says the DLSY Joint Venture wanted a heavy lifting partner who could think outside-the-box to make their vision for how they wanted to build the bridge a reality.

“The Men From Marr’s have a reputation for technical competence and innovative thinking in developing strategies for heavy lifting on projects of this scale, but what has impressed us most is their collaborative approach to finding a solution that suited our construction methodology and programme, and then delivering it,” Alemdaroglu says.

Simon Marr, managing director, Marr Contracting, highlights that a strong working relationship between Marr and the joint venture partners has been key to the project’s success to date.

“DLSY knew what they wanted, and they were also open to a non-traditional heavy lifting solution. As experts in construction, the Joint Venture partners respected our expertise in heavy lifting and together we have been able to construct the tower stage of the project in record time,” Marr points out.

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