Tower Crane Removal - Clyde Quay Wharf

Titan Cranes were approached to provide a solution to remove a Potain G20/15c tower crane from midway along Wellington’s iconic old overseas passenger terminal wharf otherwise known as the Clyde Quay Wharf (CQW).

Upon inspection of the drawings and the pile layout of the wharf it was noted that the spacing of the rows of piles almost lined up with the intermediate outrigger spacing of Titan Cranes LTM1350-6.1 at 7m.

After the initial site visit where the plan was hatched the roof was installed causing a rethink of the configuration from the original 12m fixed fly to a 36m luffing fly and 50t counterweight.

Titan Cranes in house CAD system was used to precisely determine cranes position over piles and in a bay clear of balconies with enough room to slew through 1800 and with enough space to mount the counterweights. Once this position was defined a proposal was put to the clients engineers where the crane would be supported on sets of 11m long 440x45uc beams to span as many plies as possible, the outrigger loadings were also provided to the engineer as well showing the maximum loads in all phases of the operation including setup, packup, erection of the jib plus loaded and unloaded conditions. Further to these considerations axle loads on the wharf were taken into account but were within the allowable limit imposed by the customer’s engineer.

To further complicate the operation a Spire of some historical significance was also an obstacle in the way of the crane and had to be worked over the top of.

On the afternoon of Monday the 2nd of September the support beams were placed in position on the wharf using a 15t Franna and a 2.5t forklift. The beams were placed on plywood packers to transfer the loads directly onto the pile and not the deck of the wharf. Once this was complete and after the site was finished for the night the 350t crane was brought into position with as little as 50mm to spare between the scaffold and the side of the crane.

The following morning the counterweights and 36m luffing fly were fitted using a Terex AC55c city crane and a 15t Franna, this was completed by midday, however the wind had been increasing throughout the morning and it was deemed to be unsafe to begin the removal of the tower crane.

On the Friday the wind dropped off enough to begin the dismantle of the crane, which went off without issue. The 9t ballast at the base of the tower crane were partly covered by overhanging balconies and eaves and only the seaward side were accessible to the crane for removal so on the Saturday a team from J D Rigging and the L T McGuinness ( the main contractor) broke the crane base free from the slab then jacked the base complete with 48t of ballast to a height where large skates could be slipped under the frame, this was then all jacked across the wharf until clear of the overhead obstructions and able to be removed by the 350t crane.

The final piece to finish off the job was to install a precast concrete balcony where the tower crane had been, this was achieved through the use of a cantilevered lifting beam.

Clyde Quay Wharf

Clyde Quay Wharf

Clyde Quay Wharf

Clyde Quay Wharf