Reactor Removal & Replacement

An up-hill journey.

The town of Wolcott, Colorado, lies at 6,990 ft. just off the I-70 corridor. The highway is a technical marvel that connects the metropolitan areas of Grand Junction and Denver via a steep and circuitous route through the Rocky Mountains.

As the Vail corridor continues to grow, so does the need for additional infrastructure such as power, water, transportation, and communication systems. This past summer, ML Crane Group companies Winslow Crane Service Co., Majestic Crane & Rigging, and the Alternative Movement Division (AMD) combined forces to deliver and set 2 mission-critical 75,000 lb. reactors.

Steep grades, access tunnels, and additional logistical issues accessing the site negated the standard road tractor/drop-deck combination that would normally be used for such a project.

To overcome these issues, the ML Crane Group team devised an engineered solution that would utilize 8-lines of Faymonville APMC to deliver the reactors from the transload location to the pad. To transload each reactor onto the APMC, the team would use a Grove GMK5240 240-ton all-terrain crane with 49,000 lbs. of counterweight. To safely cross the access tunnel, 8 x 12 steel plates were used to reduce the load bearing pressure through the duration of the project. A Link-Belt HTC-3140LB with 45,000 lbs. of counterweight would off-load each reactor to the pad at the power station.

Each reactor was transloaded with the Grove GMK5240 to the 8-line Faymonville APMC for the journey to the power station. Due to the steep grades (up to 15%), the APMC was outfitted with two Faymonville Powerpacks. The rear Powerpack would push the load while the front Powerpack would pull the load, allowing the APMC to apply torque to the 4 drive axles, evenly distributing power/traction to the road.

Over the 3.5-mile journey, the ML Crane Group team was able to keep each reactor within spec using on-the-fly suspension compensation provided by the Faymonville APMC. Upon arrival at the power station, each reactor was carefully off-loaded to the pad using the Link-Belt HTC-3140LB.

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