LONDON’S LARGEST CRANE IS IN OPERATION AT EARLS COURT: ALE’s AL.SK190. THE DEVELOPMENT, LED BY CAPITAL & COUNTIES PROPERTIES PLC, WILL CREATE 8,000 HOMES AND 10,000 NEW JOBS AS WELL AS A NEW HIGH STREET AND FIVE-ACRE PARK. ANDY ADAMS REPORTS
Demolition of the former exhibition centres to ground level is complete after two years of intensive work, managed by Capco’s construction partner, Keltbray. The crane is the most visible part of the site preparation that will take place throughout 2017.
The heavy lifting crane, AL.SK190, was designed and manufactured by ALE, and will be used to remove the 61 portal beams from above the London Underground lines that run below the site.
The large concrete beams supported the weight of the exhibition centre and need to be removed to enable the development. The smallest beam is 80 tonnes with the largest beam weighing 1,500 tonnes, the same as 118 London buses. ALE’s crane was chosen to minimise the impact on local residents, help reduce the carbon footprint of the project and to significantly shorten the project timescale.
ALE’s AL.SK190 crane is 120m high, more than twice the height of Nelson’s Column, and is the largest capacity lifting crane ever to be used in London. The crane will operate only on the Earls Court site and will not oversail any of the nearby properties.
“We are making good progress at Earls Court to prepare the site for future development,” says Mike Hood, Capco’s group development director. “The heavy lifting crane is the most visible part of this work and will be part of the London skyline for the next year. We know there is huge interest in the crane and we are encouraging people to visit the Earls Court Project Rooms for our monthly open day to find out more.”
“Operationally, this crane can perform lifts previously unachievable and reinforces the innovation seen throughout the whole project,” says Giovanni Alders, sales manager of ALE’s Global Projects Division. The first lifts took place in late March. The lifting of the portal beams will occur overnight in ‘engineering hours’ after the last District Line train has passed through the tunnels underneath the beams. Work is expected to conclude by the end of 2017 when the crane will be dismantled.
The Earls Court Project Rooms are at 16-18 Empress Place, SW6 1TT, nearest tube: West Brompton. They are open on the second Saturday of each month from 10.00hrs-16.00hrs and give visitors the chance to learn more about the heavy lifting crane and the Earls Court development.