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Kentucky Project Enlists Services of Big Al

A project at a lock and dam in Kentucky required Barnhart to bring out the big guns, otherwise known as Big Al.

Big Al is Barnhart’s barge-mounted heavy lift crane based in the Port of Mobile in Alabama. It was created because of a need for its super-capacity, an ability to lift loads of over 400 tons. The project at the dam involved lifting two 468,000 lbs. miter gates.

Barnhart mobilized Big Al, traveling up the Tombigbee/Tennesse River via tug to Paducah, Kentucky and then further up the Ohio River. The trip took 13 days to complete on a project with a tight time frame.

At the site, the old gates had been removed by the Corps of Engineers, while the new gates had been delivered by deck barge. Barnhart put Big Al to work, using its ARLS (adjustable rigging link system) to accommodate the two gates. Barnhart attached specialized turning shoes, utilized Big Al to lift the gates from horizontal to a vertical position, and rough set each gate at a 135 ft. radius.

Once the job was completed, ahead of schedule, Big Al was demobilized and made the return trip via waterways back to Mobile.

About Meredith Portman

Meredith Portman is a freelance writer who specializes in heavy industry, healthcare and education.
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