ARGENTINA: Specialist heavy lifting contractor ALE has used its TLG1000 telescopic hydraulic gantry for the first time to position concrete girders for the construction of a 5 km railway viaduct in Buenos Aires.

The viaduct is being built to elevate the San Martín commuter line above street level between Palermo and La Paternal stations, eliminating 11 level crossings where 250 000 bus passengers and 260 000 car drivers per day can experience delays of up to 20 min.

The viaduct will be formed of 538 concrete girders weighing 230 tonnes. The majority of these are to be positioned using a girder launcher, but the space between two of the piles is larger than this can accommodate and so an alternative lifting method was needed for four girders. The presence of an underground gas pipe ruled out the use of a high-capacity crawler crane which would impose high ground pressures.

The TLG1000 hydraulic gantry was designed in-house by ALE and built at its R&D facilities in the Netherlands before being shipped to Argentina. It has a capacity of 1 000 tonnes up to a height of 12 m, enabling it to position the bridge sections while offering stability and an even load spread. Its monitoring systems supplied data on ground settlement to provide assurance that the gas pipe was not affected.

‘It is fantastic to see the TLG1000 in operation for the first time and deployed to overcome the challenges of the underground pipeline by spreading the load’, said ALE Project Manager Juan Manuel Hinojosa. ‘By having this innovative fleet of lifting equipment, we could find not only the ideal solution to complete the job, but a solution that also ensured stability and safety.’

ALE expects to complete installation of the remaining girders in April 2019.