Case Studies

Universal Cranes news and events from around Australia.

Queen’s Wharf Precinct - Margaret Street Link Bridge Demolition

The core scope of work for our Manitowoc M16000, was the removal of the link bridge beams to the nominated ground level demolition area.

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L&D Contractors on behalf of Destination Queensland Consortium

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Margaret Street Link Bridge Demolition

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Manitowoc M16000, 400t capacity
Series 3 counterweight (150.5t counterweight, 54.4t car body)


  • Planning and methodology development with L&D Contracting
  • Lift planning, engineering and comprehensive lift studies
  • Mobilisation of Manitowoc M16000 and associated rigging/ancillary equipment
  • Provision of operator, riggers and supervision
  • Removal of bridge girders and placement in demolition area
  • Demobilisation


The Queen’s Wharf Precinct Project will see a complete transformation of the Brisbane CBD, with redevelopment of the previous Queensland government site to a tourism, leisure and entertainment precinct. To make way for the new, non-heritage buildings were demolished in in the precinct in late 2017. Universal Cranes was engaged by L&D Contractors for the demolition of the Margaret Street Link Bridge as part of their overall contract for the demolition of the Neville Bonner building and 80A & 80B George St.

With multiple contractors working concurrently on the site to demolish a total of six buildings and with the site location in the inner city, this was a challenging project. Universal Cranes managed complex stakeholder interfaces and excess mass curfews that put time pressure on the mobilisation of a 400t crawler crane to the Brisbane CBD and the subsequent execution of the lift.

The core scope of work for our Manitowoc M16000, mobilised with Series 3 counterweight, 30m back mast, 42m main boom and 42m luffing fly, was the removal of the link bridge beams to the nominated ground level demolition area. The demolition lifts had obvious significant challenges from the outset which were compounded by several emergent demands as the project progressed. Had the lift proceeded even under the most ideal site conditions as per initial planning, it would have been a highly complex project due to:

  • Mobilisation of a 400T crawler crane to the Brisbane CBD. A crawler crane of this size had not been mobilised to the Brisbane CBD in many years. Brisbane CBD has restricted road access into the city with oversized transport is not permitted during peak hour traffic leaving very limited timeframes for transportation of over dimensional crane components.
  • Restricted site layout and limited availability for crane footprint, factoring in the existing Queensland Executive building, underground and overhead services, and high levels of activity on surrounding sites.
  • Limited timeframes within which work could be carried out. Demolition works had to be executed on weekends only over a seven week period.

In addition to the inherent challenges of this project, there were several additional changes in scope that emerged as the project progressed requiring Universal Cranes to provide highly technical expertise, with flexible and innovative solutions, including:

  • Four weeks prior to the planned mobilisation we were notified that the selected site for the crane pad [youtube v=””]would not be available due to schedule delays. Universal Cranes had to reassess the site layout, identifying several other options for the crane pad.
  • During the first shift of the Margaret St Link Bridge demolition, the team encountered unforeseen demolition issues deeming the planned methodology as unsuitable, unsafe and likely to result in a collapse. The client relied heavily on Universal Cranes and our experience executing works of similar nature to develop an alternative methodology. We were able to react quickly, by bringing in a modular spreader bar from our rigging gear store and additional equipment to facilitate removal of these affected components.

With such a large crane at L&D’s disposal, the crane was also utilised to service the lifting of demolition equipment into several work fronts on a daily basis. In conjunction with the large crawler, Universal Cranes was also the contracted supplier for general hire cranage for L&D on the project, thus rounding out a full lifting support solution.

The project was completed on time and schedule despite these unforeseen changes to the lift plan. Through our innovative and quick response, we enabled our client to maintain their demolition schedule in line with their client’s expected timeframes.

Key equipment utilised:

  • Manitowoc M16000, 400t capacity
  • Series 3 counterweight (150.5t counterweight, 54.4t car body)
  • 42m main boom
  • 30m back mast
  • 42m luffing fly jib

For more information about the capability of the Manitowoc M16000, please click here.