Williams Construction Services Performs Biggest Lift of Transform I-66 Project

WATCH: Williams Construction Services and Williams Steel Erection Co., Inc.’s Rigging Division work together to place a 250 ton box girder above I-66 East.

On April 20th, 2022, the team at Williams Construction Services and Williams Steel Erection Co., Inc. performed the largest girder lift of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project to date. Using three cranes and a Goldhofer SPMT Trailer, the 250 ton girder was moved into the highway and lifted into position during a five-hour full closure of I-66 East at the Route 28 interchange.

The carefully planned and coordinated operation presented many unique challenges, first and foremost the size of the girder. At 13 feet tall and 139 feet long, it is the tallest box girder of the project and the second longest. Because three cranes were required for the pick, keeping it level through constant communication between the operators was critical. The final location of the girder was also directly under a power line, which had to be shut down for the lift.

After the box girder was assembled next to the highway over the course of weeks, one end of the girder was placed on Williams Steel Erection Co., Inc.’s Goldhofer heavy haul trailer, while the other was lifted by a Link-Belt 200 ton crawler crane so the trailer could rotate it into the closed roadway. Once in position, the 200 ton was joined by a Link-Belt 300 ton truck crane and Liebherr 300 ton hydraulic crane. Working together, the three Williams Construction Services cranes lifted the girder into position above the highway to be secured by erector Webber before the highway reopened.

“Transform 66 Outside the Beltway” is a design-build project with VDOT, I-66 Express Mobility Partners, and general contractor FAM Construction. Construction began in 2017 to add express lanes to a 22.5-mile stretch of I-66 from I-495 in Falls Church to Route 29 in Gainesville. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

Connecting Arlington

The Ballston Quarter pedestrian bridge crossing Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia has been a community landmark for many years. When the owner decided to replace the bridge they wanted to create an iconic structure that would set it apart and had a daring architectural design prepared. Then they had to build it.

This is where Williams Steel Erection Co., Inc. comes in. The complex shape, large size, and location over a busy street in downtown Arlington are just some of the challenges that had to be overcome to build the structure. To make it happen, Williams Steel used innovative “accelerated bridge construction” methods that it has become known for.

First, the 145 ft long, 100 ton bridge was completely assembled about a quarter of a mile from the final location in Mosaic Park. The bridge was fabricated by Crystal Steel Fabricators in Memphis, Tennessee and shipped to Virginia in large, truck-sized pieces.

Bridge during assembly in Mosaic Park.
Fully assembled bridge.

Next, the bridge was loaded onto, Williams Steel’s Goldhofer heavy haul trailer pulled by our Oshkosh M1040 prime mover and moved from the park to the final location. This operation involved significant coordination to close streets, move traffic lights and signs, and keep the public safe.

Diagram of bridge transportation path through Arlington.
The Goldhofer heavy haul rig transporting the bridge.

Finally, the bridge was hoisted into place using a 600 Ton capacity crane and set down on the piers.

Bridge being hoisted into place.

Building the bridge structure using this method saved weeks to months of road closures on Wilson Boulevard and eliminated many of the safety risks associated with a partially completed structure being built over a road. When done properly by experienced professionals, this type of operation is much safer and simpler than traditional methods of construction over roadways.

The team at Williams Steel Erection Co., Inc. provides the resources and experience to complete this and other projects of similar complexity and standing. We are honored to be able to use these abilities to provide services that enhance our community and communities throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Large Transformer Move

Williams Steel Erection Co., Inc. – Rigging Division recently moved a 710 Ton transformer in Rising Sun, MD for SPX Corporation.  The move utilized the company’s Goldhofer heavy duty modular combination trailer in a double wide configuration as well as our Oshkosh M-911 (Prime Mover).  Take a look at the pictures below.

New Goldhofer Trailer for Giant Moves


Williams Steel Erection Co., Inc. is please to announce the arrival of its new equipment, including an Oshkosh M-911 (Prime Mover) and a Goldhofer heavy duty modular combination trailer.  With this equipment, our experienced, award-winning personnel can move the heaviest of transformers or largest of loads. See below for an informational flyer.

For additional information, contact 703-335-7850 or by e-mail at rigging@wmsi.com.