Weldex helps new Emirates Air Line

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UK based crawler crane rental company Weldex is using its 1,350 tonne capacity Liebherr LR11350 crawler crane to help erect one of the main towers for the new Emirates Air Line crossing over the river Thames in London.

The Emirates Air Line is the first urban cable car of its kind in the UK allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross the river Thames from stations at Greenwich Peninsula and The Royal Victoria Docks.

The cable car will create a direct link between the O2 and ExCeL with an additional interchange between the Docklands Light Railway and Jubilee line. The crossing which should be operational in the summer will reduce travel time to five minutes.

The LR 11350 will erect the South Tower of the cable car with construction beginning this week. The crawler crane – which arrived on site on more than 70 trucks – will be erected with a maximum height of 183 metres and a maxium radius of 120 metres and be used to lift and place tower sections weighing up to 68 tonnes each. Weldex will be working closely with Mace, the design, build and operate contractor appointed by Transport for London (TfL) to deliver the project.

The Emirates Air Line is set to play a vital part of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s regeneration plans for this area by attracting new businesses and creating jobs. The cable car will also be a much needed new river crossing in east London, having the capacity to carry up to 2,500 people an hour in each direction – the equivalent of 30 buses per hour.

Operations manager Danny Price said: “The Emirates Air Line is fast taking shape, one of the three towers is already complete with the second due to be completed shortly. Work is about to get underway on the largest of the main towers, which will rise to 90 metres in height. Having one of the largest cranes in the country on site highlights the sheer scale of the job at hand. We are on track to have this new transport scheme opening this summer. Once open it will provide a fantastic new link between the Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks and really help to boost regeneration in the area.”

Matt Randall, Mace’s project director added: “It is very exciting to see this London landmark becoming a reality and this crane installation allows us to reach the next significant milestone of this impressive project. Once complete the South Tower will be the tallest of the three towers and will be the only one built in the Thames itself. Made up of approximately 6,500 steel pieces the total weight when finished will be 568 tonnes, making it also the heaviest tower.”

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