Lifting down

The latest issue of Cranes Today is out now  (see here) and contains a feature I did on the use of cranes in tunnelling work. It explores the technical issues that come into play when lifting components down into tunnels rather than more traditional applications where lifting up is the norm.

Big Bertha is a 17.5m, 7000t Hitachi Zozen TBM which will build a new viaduct in Seattle. A special gantry system was used to construct it.


A couple of companies were really helpful in assisting me with research. Taylor Woodrow BAM Nuttall kindly showed me around Tottenham Court Rd station where all manner of cranes from gantries to  crawlers are being used to rebuild the station box and connecting tunnels ready for Crossrail; Dragados USA as part of Seattle Tunnel Partners with Tutor Perini Corp gave me a briefing on the lifting strategy for the world’s largest TBM (for now – these things are growing!); UK lifting specialists Ainscough Crane Hire gave me the inside track on the technical considerations and down under Melrose Crane and Rigging talked me through a complex underwater TBM lift.