BY RUSSELL HIXSON - After four years and more than 1,000 concrete segments later, the massive gantry crane next to the Port Mann Bridge has been removed and is now being dismantled.
It now sits underneath the bridge's Surrey approach in a construction yard, where it is being taken apart piece by piece.
The crane was one of the most important pieces of equipment on bridge building, lifting precast concrete segments into place.
"It's just as unique as the Port Mann is," said Greg Johnson, communications manager for Transportation Investment Corporation.
The blue and yellow crane was designed and manufactured specifically for the Port Mann Bridge construction.
It is 19 metres wide, 13 metres tall and 155 metres long.
It was designed to be disassembled and shipped from one side of the bridge to the other, fitting underneath the old Port Mann Bridge's arch.
In the coming weeks it will be disassembled and recycled.
It could be repurposed for a future project elsewhere, said Johnson.
Since starting work in 2010, the 720-tonne gantry crane has lifted and placed 1,158 precast concrete segments, completing the bridge's deck to its final 10-lane width.
Finishing work will continue on the final two lanes over the coming months, but it's the end of the job for the gantry and the end of the heaviest lifting on the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project.
The final step in completing the bridge deck took place in late July as the gantry was dismantled and relocated to the Surrey side of the bridge.
It was then used to build the final three spans of the bridge's south approach.
To do so, crews hauled 39 precast concrete deck segments, one at a time, from a Coquitlam fabrication yard to the south side of the bridge.
Each 80-tonne segment was lifted from a haul truck with the gantry crane and attached to the truss. Once all the segments for a span were attached to the truss, they were aligned, bonded together with an industrial epoxy, tensioned with cables and then set into place as a complete unit.
Phase one of bridge construction was completed December 2012 with the opening of eight lanes on the new Port Mann Bridge, significantly expanding the capacity of the existing five-lane bridge.
Peter Kiewit Sons Co. and Flatiron Constructors Canada Limited were awarded a $2.46 billion fixed-price contract by the B.C. government to design and build the new bridge and to widen Highway 1 from Langley to Vancouver.