Final Sprint for Olympia - Liebherr LR 11350 Crawler Crane erects Cable Car Pylon in the Thames
- 25 May 2012
- Company & Industry News
It's a race against time: When the Olympic Summer Games open in London in July, the intention is that two of the sports facilities in the east of the city will be con-nected by a modern cable car over the River Thames. In March this year a Liebherr LR 11350 crawler crane owned by the Scottish crane company Weldex erected the last and largest of the pylons for the system. The South Tower, 90 metres high, was installed in the river 80 metres from the bank.
When the thirtieth Olympic Summer Games open in the English metropolis on 27 July 2012, plans are for the cabins of the cable car, 1,100 metres in length and some 50 metres high, to be able to carry 2,500 people every hour in each di-rection over the Thames. From the Millennium Dome, the Olympic Games facility in Greenwich on the south side of the river, visitors will be able to make the new river crossing in just five minutes to the Sports Arena at the Royal Victoria Docks to the north of the Thames.
The original plan was for a large mobile crane to assemble the pylon from its individual parts, but the condition of the subsoil on the bank of the Thames would not allow for a crane to stand directly beside the river. The reach needed, of a massive 120 metres, meant that the stroke had to be thought out again, and a significantly bigger machine brought in.
The LR 11350, a Liebherr crane with a load capacity of 1,350 tonnes, is the most powerful crawler crane in the Weldex fleet, and now it really proved its worth. Segments weighing up to 71 tonnes were placed in the Thames by the mighty crane. The elegant pylon in the south part of the system, at 90 metres in height and a total weight of 568 tonnes, is the largest and heaviest of the total of three graceful steel tow-ers.
Long waiting times became the order of the day on the con-struction site, because the closeness to London's City Airport meant that periodically the crane was not allowed to work.
The 96 metre main boom and the 84 metres luffing fly jib of the massive Liebherr crawler crane projected at a height which was relevant to the airport's radar. In addition to this, the familiar London fog repeatedly caused delays in what was already a very tight schedule, and the decision was finally taken to operate the site during the night-time as well. With the installation of the batteries of rollers on the head of the pylon, produced by the Austrian cable car manufacturers Doppelmayr, the men from Weldex and their great crawler crane completed the helical-shaped pylon in just ten days.
In addition to this, two smaller crawler cranes, an LR 1300 and an LR 1100, originally from the Liebherr plant at Nenzing, were also hard at work. Both units were used as taxi and assistance cranes, needed for the assembly and ballasting of the heavy-duty crane as well as for aligning and moving the individual segments of the pylon.