Case Studies

Universal Cranes news and events from around Australia.

Universal Cranes' M16000 lifts largest ever bridge beams in Queensland

Our Manitowoc M16000 crawler, fitted with the capacity-enhancing MAX-ER attachment, recently completed a challenging task on the Lucinda Drive Overpass lifting the largest beams ever lifted in Queensland.

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Seymour Whyte, on behalf of Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL)

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Lucinda Drive Bridge

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August 2017

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Manitowoc M16000 with MaxER configuration
In-house designed lattice boom spreader bar system
Quickcell Super Girders


  • Planning and methodology development with Seymour Whyte, including concept design and viability
  • Lift plans and lift studies development
  • Mobilisation of our Manitowoc M16000 400T Crawler Crane with MAX-ER
  • Supply of operator, riggers and supervisor
  • Unloading and storage of girders
  • Installation of girders over Port Drive Road and Queensland Rail weekend closures
  • Demobilisation of crane


In August 2017, Universal Cranes was engaged by Seymour Whyte to complete the challenging task of lifting and placing Australia’s longest pre-stressed concrete girders. Our 400T Manitowoc M16000, fitted with the capacity enhancing MAX-ER attachment, successfully placed 17 girders on the Lucinda Drive Bridge, part of the Port of Brisbane’s $110 million Port Drive Upgrade.

The Lucinda Drive Bridge Beam Placement set a new record for the longest pre-stressed girders ever placed in Queensland. It was also an Australian first innovation in the use of Quickcell Super Girders (QSGs) and is the largest placement and one of the first major road projects to employ the use of Enrobés à Module Élevé Class 2 (EME2) asphalt. Universal Cranes achieved a lift engineering feat in the placement of the record length components, with the longest span measuring approximately 46m.

With the overall bridge span at 110m, constructing a pier in the region was not viable due to buried services and major Energex power lines responsible for supplying the entire port area. Thus, a new type of beam was developed by Quickcell Technology Products and Arup. QSGs can reach spans longer than the traditional Super T girders currently preferred by road authorities across Australia, which can be built to a span of up to approximately 36m. The girders used on the Port Drive Upgrade project are 46m pre-cast pre-stressed simply supported single length bridge girders and are an Australian first innovation.

The QSG design reached an impressive 46m in length providing a solution to a major project risk of underground utilities, specifically a major Energex power line responsible for suppling the entire port area. The 46m girder span was able to cross the existing Queensland Rail lines, removing the need for construction works within the rail and services corridor.

Universal Cranes’ scope of work included all planning and management of the lifting logistics and crawler crane hire, as well as the execution of the lifting and placement of the 17 girders. Universal Cranes closely collaborated with Seymour Whyte, ALE and the Port of Brisbane to ensure this complex job was completed within the time constraints and budget.

One of the more challenging aspects of the project was the months of logistical planning required, including detailed lift studies and sequencing. One of the spans (Span 2) had to be erected over a section of Queensland Rail, which required a partial closure of the rail lines over a weekend period. Execution of the lift had to be as efficient as possible to avoid any delays to meet the limitations of the closures. The lifts were meticulously planned to meet the tight time schedule using the M16000 to stockpile the beams onsite and then install the girders efficiently during the closure shift.

We utilised our in-house designed lattice boom spreader in our rigging arrangement, which is built from spare boom sections from our fleet of Manitowoc M12000 cranes. The design is a light weight and strong spreader system that we have employed on several successful jobs in the past.

By utilising our Manitowoc M16000 with the MaxER configuration, we were able to reduce the cost to our client with a capacity efficient crane as compared to the alternative option of using a much larger capacity crawler crane.

All lifts were completed without a hitch, on time and on budget thanks to the team effort in careful lift planning.


  • Manitowoc M16000 with MaxER configuration
  • In-house designed lattice boom spreader bar system
  • Quickcell Super Girders


More information:

Check out the M16000’s capabilities here, or give us a call to learn more about how the MAX-ER capacity enhancing configuration can help on your project.