The numerous construction cranes towering over the Green Point Stadium construction site that have become a familiar sight over the last two-and-a-half years, will soon be coming down as the stadium nears completion. At the height of construction there were 21 tower cranes and 15 mobile cranes dotted around the stadium as builders worked day and night to keep to the tight construction deadline.
Some of the cranes were up to 80 metres above the ground.
There are now only seven tower cranes surrounding the stadium, as all the major concrete work has been finished, and the roof is nearly complete. Construction of the exterior facade of the stadium and the finishes is currently underway - including seating, lighting, cabling, VIP suites, external cladding, and media and IT facilities.
The remaining cranes will be coming down between the end of August and mid-September, says project director Andrew Fanton of the joint venture contractors, Murray & Roberts/WBHO.
"The cranes had become quite a feature in Green Point, but in their place we've put a brand-new stadium," he said.
The crane operators – including the country's only female crane operator, Zoliswa Gila, who was chosen to present President Jacob Zuma with a pair of gold-coloured soccer boots when he visited the stadium for the one-year countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ – will all be "remobilised to other projects," Fanton said.
But while the cranes may be coming down soon, there are still 1 800 workers on the construction site according to Fanton. This will be steadily reduced as work is completed. Over 2 500 workers have been employed on the project.
As contractors and equipment gradually move off site, space around the stadium is being freed up to allow for paving and landscaping.
Construction on the 68 000 seat stadium started in March 2007, and is on track for handover to the City of Cape Town on December 14, 2009.
"We are on track to complete the roof as per our schedule, and we are targeting to finish everything else by the 14 December handover," Fanton said.
by Martin Pollack 2009/08/24