Batman Bridge Overpass Upgrade

The Batman Bridge spans the Tamar River at Whirlpool Reach about 35 km downstream from Launceston. The bridge is one of the world’s first cable-stayed truss bridges and is dominated by the 100-metre high steel A-frame tower. The weight of the 206-metre main span over the river is almost entirely carried by the tower. The overall length of the bridge is 432 metres between abutments.


This job was completed on behalf of Van Ek Contracting. Length and weight of spans: Spans 1500, 6 beams involved 2 Cranes used were while attempting a dual lift.

  1. GMK 5100 – 100 Tonne – 14-meter radius loaded with 22.5 tonnes.
  2. GMK 4080 – 80 Tonne  - 9-meter radius loaded with 22.5 tonnes.

All beams weighed 50 tonnes.

Rigging Technique

The rigging technique used was one which 3 tendons are embedded into a precast concrete panel and attached to a lifting eye to suit a 35-tonne shackle, this shackle then connects straight to the main hook.

  1. Pfeiffer Cranes arrive onsite with 2 Cranes as mentioned above.  Previous Lift study and Job Safety Analysis were completed prior to arrival.  The lift study was important especially due to the accessibility of the area.
  2. We checked radius and set cranes uploaded with full counterweights
  3. The truck and dolly arrive loaded up with the bridge beams and are guided into position for lift by riggers.  The truck was placed at a required radius to suit both cranes ready for the dual lift.
  4. The beams were lifted on both ends using lifting lugs.


The job was performed on the top of an overpass, therefore when constructing the highway the construction crew retained part of the old road in place for the truck and dolly to drive up on to.  On the far side of this road was a large embankment and the truck had to be parked as close to the embankment as possible to allow the cranes to gain the required radius for lifting the beams.