The two cranes began working in China in 2004 on the Nanjing No 3 Bridge and now that project has finished the MD 3600s have been rented to the main contractor on the Sutong project, China Harbor Engineering Corporation No 2 Co (CHEC), by the Nanjing No 3 Yangtze River Bridge Co Ltd.

On the Sutong project, the contractor has assembled the MD 3600 cranes to a working height under hook of 315m (1,033ft) and is using 50m (164ft) jib.

Although the MD 3600 has a maximum capacity of 160t (176USt), on this project the cranes have been adapted with a dual hook design – two winches with 20t (22USt) and 80t (88USt) capacities respectively.

The 20t (22USt) winch is used for higher speed lifts, placing concrete forms at heights under 225m (738ft), while the 80t (88USt) winch is used for lifts above 225m (738ft) and for heavier lifts such as the positioning of the cable stays and steel boxes.

The MD 3600 has a maximum capacity of 80t (88USt) at a radius of 23.8m (78ft), and a maximum capacity of 29.7t (32.7USt) at a radius of 48.4m (159ft).

Potain engineers modified the cranes prior to assembly to give them better stability and further reach. These modifications also allow them to withstand winds of up to 61.5m per second (201ft per second) and will simplify dismantling after the bridge’s completion.

Materials used in the construction of the Sutong Bridge include 250,000t (275,500USt) of steel, 1.4million cu m (49million cu ft) of concrete, while total earth moved is believed to be 3.2m cu m (113m cu ft).

The project’s total cost is RMB6.45billion (US$800m). When complete, the Sutong Bridge will be a six-lane, 34m (112ft) wide, 32.4km (20.1 mile) highway linking the ancient city of Suzhou to the industrial hub of Nantong, at the lower end of Yangtze River.

The bridge’s central span will be 1,088m (3,570ft) and will sit at a height of 62m (203ft). A total of 32.2km (20 miles) of cable will be used.