DJI_0052 strand jack bridge 1900

Case Study


Location: East Chicago, IN

Problem: Nearly 20 pre-cast bridge segments had to be lifted into place in the middle of a channel. Use of a traditional crane was not practical as the crane would have to be housed on a specialty barge which would have congested the busy waterway.

Solution: Design & build a customized Cantilevered Segmental Bridge Lift capable of lifting segments from a barge to the bridge span utilizing back span tie downs to counter the cantilever.

Engineered Rigging’s unique Cantilever Segmental Bridge Lift helped speed reconstruction of the Cline Avenue Bridge in East Chicago, Indiana. The new lift system enabled crews to move 19 concrete bridge segments, each weighing 75 tons, in just 16 days — all while keep a busy waterway open.

Granite Construction, the bridge contractor, tapped Engineered Rigging for the project because of its reputation as an innovative problem solver for the most challenging heavy lift projects. The Cline Avenue Bridge straddles the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal. Blocking this critical commercial shipping lane with a large barge and construction crane was not an option.

“Working on the Cline Avenue Bridge allowed us to apply our specialized lift expertise to a project that will have a significant, positive impact on the economic development of Northwest Indiana,” said Engineered Rigging president, Christopher Cox, P.E. “The new 6,236-foot bridge will be a lifeline to nearby Chicago and beyond for commercial and industrial businesses along Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline.”

Engineered Rigging leveraged its knowledge of strand jacks, skidding and tensioning to develop a safe, economical lifting solution that attached to the bridge’s edge and extended horizontally over the water. Crews positioned each new 75-ton concrete segment on a small barge below the lift. The cantilevered design enabled Engineered Rigging to lift each span, secure it in place over the waterway and then reposition the Cantilever Segmental Bridge Lift to the newly installed span so that the next concrete section could be hoisted into position.

Engineered Rigging spent 12 weeks designing and fabricating the custom lift system at its facility in Arkansas. Including set-up and tear-down, the company’s engineers and equipment technicians were onsite at the bridge for a month with 16 days dedicated to active lifting. The bridge is set to open in early January 2021.

The Cantilever Segmental Bridge Lift features four strand jacks, which allow for precise synchronous control in a compact footprint. Engineered Rigging’s strand jacks have a lifting capacity of 17 to 1,405 tons per jack, and up to 60 strand jacks can be operated simultaneously to lift very large loads. The configuration for this project supported a lifting speed of 60 feet per hour. A key safety feature, the strand jacks can be operated by a single operator from a central location.

Engineered Rigging provided engineering design, fabrication, heavy lifting equipment rentals and onsite technical support for this complex project. The Cantilever Segmental Bridge Lift system can be customized for bridge projects of any size in North and South America.


Meet John Kuka

Engineered Rigging recently expanded its leadership team to include John Kuka as Director of Business Development. A proud U.S. veteran, John has more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience. He is looking forward to building relationships with Engineered Rigging’s customers and helping them achieve their goals.

While he’s based out of our Chicagoland / Northwest Indiana office, John is a native Montanan. He can sing the state song and give you all three mottos, but his favorite is: "The Last, Best Place." He’s a die-hard football and basketball fan and spends his Saturdays in the fall cheering on Notre Dame, his alma mater.

John is pictured below with his wife of 20 years, Katie, and children Jack , Maggie, and Moira. You reach John at or 317.468.3725.