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In 2005, Doug Becker received a number of E-Mails from a bridge aficionado & collector by the name of Heinz Kessel, living in Cologne, Germany, who had seen Doug's bridge photos on the website in Doug's Section.
In his seeking further information about the bridge in Maracaibo, his messages included a photo as well as drawings of the specially-built Schmidt-Tychsen tower crane built for the construction of the bridge. He also relates that Schmidt-Tychsen no longer manufactures cranes and that the last use of these cranes was on the Rio-Niteroi bridge project in 1971.
Heinz described the action & working of the crane as follows:
“The cranes were equipped with a manually-operated(!) telescopic tower system to gain a free standing height of 58,45m. As the crane tower was not allowed to be fixed at the bridge pylon structure, a triangular-shaped frame supported the basic tower. The complete crane rested on a side-mounted gride, hanging over the water. With a large floating crane, the complete tower crane had been picked up as one load and moved to the next pillar under construction during the project. Main lifting capacity of the tower crane was 10t, impressive for that time.
“To move the tower crane from one pylon to the next, a floating crane was moved in. It took the jib end of the tower crane which was lowered and fixed to the crane tower. Then the tower crane head was fixed to the floating crane hook, the tower crane base was unscrewed and the complete crane lifted by the floating crane. Hanging at its hook, the complete crane was shipped to the next pylon under construction. A sophisticated, economic way to move on with the tower crane during the project!
The photos and drawings can be seen below. Our thanks once again to Doug Becker for contributing this additional technical information!
The crane
Preparing for transportation
Another view
Climbing system