The Bridge Moves on Continental Tires
Long-term construction projects and resulting traffic delays can cause headaches for commuters, but the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) recently found a way to cut a bridge replacement project time in half – with a device that uses Continental industrial tires.
MnDOT closed and dismantled the Maryland Avenue Bridge, spanning I-35E in St. Paul, in July as part of interstate corridor improvements planned for 2012 to 2015. A new bridge deck and superstructure were built during the course of the summer on the west side of the roadway. On August 18, crews used a giant, automated self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) to move the finished sections of the bridge across the highway and set them into place. The transporter was operated by global heavy moving and transport expert Mammoet, whose Illinois-based civil project unit was contracted by MnDOT to oversee the delicate move.
The SPMT, a multi-axle platform machine controlled by computer, moved the bridge sections at a walking pace, rolling them on 352 wheels with special Continental industrial tires based on the IC40 Extra Deep design. Each wheel can be swiveled independently to allow the bridge weight to be distributed evenly, according to Mammoet. The bridge move took place during a single day, with both sections in place by 8:30 p.m., according to MnDOT sources.
U.S. Federal funds dictate the use of accelerated construction technologies, specifically the SPMT, in order to improve work zone safety and reduce traffic disruption. With traditional construction methods the Maryland Bridge would have been closed for nearly four months. Instead, the closure will be reduced to about 60 days.
The heavy load carrying capacity and durability of the Continental IC40 industrial pneumatic tires has made them the choice of Mammoet Transport for its SPMTs. Mammoet has also used Continental IC40 tires to move a solid stone church in Germany in 2007; the company achieved a record move of a 15,000 t oil separation plant at a Norwegian shipyard in 2010 using 2,160 IC40s over 540 axle line SPMTs.
The Continental tires are specified for Mammoet SPMTs because they can stand up to not only the weight of the materials transported, but also to the immense forces generated when each wheel is individually steered, according to Mammoet.
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