Crews are rapidly placing track sections in advance of the spring 2014 opening of the Oakland Airport Connector. Conceived in the early 1970s and started in 2010, the $484-million project will connect the Bay Area Rapid Transit system to the airport. The project is about two-thirds complete, with system testing commencing later this year, a BART spokesperson says.

Bigge Crane and Rigging, San Leandro, Calif., is providing and operating the cranes on the 3.1-mile project. Several of the lifts have occurred during overnight shutdowns of Interstate 880, one of the busiest freeways in the Bay Area.

"It makes the job a little more dangerous and extremely time-sensitive," says Chris Clark, Bigge sales representative.

Bigge brought in a Demag AC-500 hydraulic truck crane to lift the massive steel trusses into place for the 300-ft-long span over the freeway. The eight-axle crane provides a 600-ton lift capacity, with 396,000 lb of counterweight for the 183-ft main boom. Crews used a Grove GMK6350 on an earlier section of the project, being built under a $361-million design-build contract by Flatiron/Parsons.

The project's numerous crossings provide crews with a mix of aerial, at-grade and sub-grade structures that also seamlessly cross over and under live railroad tracks and several intersections, the BART spokesperson says.

Bigge's safety record was a key factor in being selected for the job, Clark says. Earlier this month at its annual conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association, Centreville, Va., awarded Bigge its 2012 Zero Accidents Award, given to firms without a recordable incident in a single year.

Only 18 of the association's 1,300 member firms received the award this year.