The crane (technical name AL.SK190, for any crane lovers out there) lifted a portal beam nicknamed ‘Big Bertha,’ weighing in at a colossal 1,500 tonnes – the equivalent of 118 London buses. The Earls Court project team, managed by Capco’s construction partner, Keltbray, have been making preparations to remove the 32m long, 5m wide portal beam since 2014, however on the day, the lift took just 2.5 hours to complete.
At 120m high, the crane is more than twice the height of Nelson’s Column. It will lift 61 portal beams from the London Underground lines that lie below the former Earls Court exhibition centres before the end of the year. Designed and manufactured by specialist engineering firm, ALE, the crane was chosen to minimise the impact on local residents, and reduce the project’s carbon footprint. It will shorten the enabling works timescales by an impressive two years.