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For a long time, the two tower cranes of type 357 HC-L marked the highest point of the bridge construction project "1915Canakkale Bridge" at 318 meters. The longest suspension bridge in the world, which connects the European side with the Asian side of Turkey, was on the one hand a very special assignment for our service technician Engin Dalman, but on the other hand as routine as ever.
Liebherr service technician Engin Dalman’s workplace is not your standard jobsite. Standing 318 metres tall, the two 357 HC-L tower cranes that fall within Engin’s responsibility mark the top of one of Türkiye’s most important and challenging infrastructure projects – the 1915Çanakkale Bridge. With a total length of 4,608 metres, it connects the two continents of Europe and Asia. Not only is the crane the highest point of the project, it also performs essential tasks, says Umut Öğütmen. He is the deputy head of the Maritime and Heavy Lift division at DLSY JV, who are responsible for the whole project.
“Every day, the cranes carry all kinds of materials that are needed around the tower. They are our hands and feet, so to speak.” To ensure that this can be achieved at all times without a hitch, Engin and his colleagues are available around the clock. They are responsible for weekly routine checks and maintenance work, and also act in an advisory capacity. The working conditions are extremely harsh, both for the workers and the machines. Apart from the altitude, it is primarily the geographical location that makes the work so difficult. The Dardanelles Strait is extremely windy all year round, and this also affects the currents and swell. Months before construction began, the project team led by Umut Öğütmen had to calculate the tolerance values precisely and define limit values for the different types of work. “The crane itself is not affected by these wind speeds but we are often unable to carry out lifting operations in high winds, as this might damage the materials or, in the worst case, result in injuries.”
The tower cranes were still needed after the official opening in March 2022. They are used when dismantling the construction site. Umut Öğütmen and Engin Dalman will also remain on site for the duration. Being involved in a project of this size and scope means a lot to both of them. “I know from personal experience what a tremendous added value this bridge provides to the people living around the Dardanelles region. It makes me proud to have been part of the project,” says Umut Öğütmen. Engin Dalman adds: “Up until now, the only way to cross was by ferry. The difficult weather conditions meant that these crossings frequently had to be cancelled. Now we have a land crossing with sufficient capacity for the people here.”