Comansa bridges the gap between two Philippines islands

S. Neogy ,

30 Jan 2022

Two 21LC660 flat-top cranes from the 2100 series put their 36t capacity to good use in challenging cable-stayed bridge construction project between Cebu and Mactan Islands

Two Comansa tower cranes are helping to construct a cable-stayed bridge in the Philippines that will join two vital islands, spanning the water between Cebu City and Mactan Island.

Cebu City is the second-largest city in the country while Mactan Island, is the location for the international airport that serves the city. The bridge being built to join the two places is a significant structure that will help alleviate the heavy traffic that currently travels through two existing bridges between the locations.

​Thanks to this new bridge, journey time will be reduced by up to 40 minutes and help streamline commercial and industrial travel, and facilitate the transportation of tourists landing at the international airport of Mactan, which is the main touristic hub of the country.

This is a key project for the region, awarded by CCLEC (Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation), a subsidiary of MPTC (Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation), to Cebu Link Joint Venture (CLJV), a joint venture between ACCIONA, First Balfour and DMCI.

​In order to meet the specific requirements of the project, two Comansa 21LC660 flat-top cranes from the 2100 series have been selected, owing to the 36-tonne models being “the perfect choice for maximum performance in projects involving particularly heavy loads, such as bridge construction”, says Comansa. Furthermore, the use of 80-metre long booms has made it possible to provide a wide and accessible perimeter on-site surrounding the two main pylons on which the bridge is being built.

​The project was divided into three sections: the Cordova viaduct and causeway, the cable-stayed bridge itself and the access viaducts on Cebu City side. Comansa’s tower cranes have been used to construct the main cable stayed bridge which, when completed, will span approximately 650m and be supported by two towers of 150m height each.

Tower 1 is located a distance from the coast and is not accessible by land, so the tower crane had to be erected using a crawler crane mounted on a boat. Tower 2 is also far from the coast, but in this case a temporary island/dock was made using fill material, allowing materials to be delivered and thus enabling the bridge to be built. The tower crane was erected using a crawler crane from this provisional island.

Comansa says that the modular system it used, with its compact pieces, played a fundamental role in this project by allowing the tower cranes to be erected in such complicated circumstances.

The tower cranes proved their versatility and were used for a variety of purposes I the project. This included lifting heavy equipment to the deck during the construction phase, such as mobile cranes, boom trucks and concrete pumps weighing up to 32t.

During concreting operations, the cranes were used to lift five-cubic-metre concrete buckets weighing approximately 12t from the pile cap to the deck and moving them in a 40m working radius, in order to feed the static pumps used for delivering concrete to the segment being executed.

Lifting and placing pylon formwork was another task that the Comansa tower cranes performed, along with prefabricated pylon rebar cages weighing approximately 8t. Lifting of rebar bundles for structural works, lifting and installing anchor boxes for the stay cables and stay cable installation were among other daily activities carried out by the Comansa tower cranes during the bridge construction.

According to Comansa, the ability to automatically change reeving, combined with the Power Lift system, allowed the cranes to easily adapt to a wide range of loading manoeuvres, handling different volumes and weights, and allowing the project to take full advantage of the cranes at all times.

Given the bridge’s location in a country that is affected by typhoons during the rainy season, the tower cranes were designed to support winds of up to 250 kmh. In addition, due to their height and the proximity to Mactan-Cebu Airport, both the cranes and the booms were fitted with safety lights in compliance with civil aviation regulations.

Both tower cranes were struck by lightning during the construction work, but thanks to their lightning protection, the operators were unharmed and the tower cranes were able to continue working after undergoing mechanical and electrical checks, of course assisted by the Comansa technical team through their online support.

The Spanish tower crane specialist added that ease of assembly, versatility, efficiency and technical assistance are just a few of the aspects that will ensure that the constructor finishes on schedule so that this engineering masterpiece can be unveiled during the first quarter of this year.

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