Photo courtesy of Bigge Crane and Rigging
The Demag AC-500 crane needed 198 tons of counterweight for the BART track lift.

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.

Bigge Crane and Rigging, San Leandro, Calif., is providing and operating the cranes on the 3.2-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 design-build contract by Flatiron/Parsons.

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 have received the award this year.