Canada’s tallest crane renovates Montreal’s Olympic Stadium
By Matt Jones
By Matt Jones
In 2018, more than 1,000 employees of Desjardins, North America’s largest association of credit unions, will be setting up their new shop in the tower of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. Before they can move in, however, the tower will require surface renovations. And performing renovations that high up in the air will require the use of a giant Liebherr 630 EC-H H 20/40 Litronic tower crane. The crane, along with a Liebherr 710 HC-L, will be used for the next two years to maneuver workers around the sides of the tower so they can perform their tasks.
“The building is a beast,” said Mark Forbes, Morrow Equipment’s branch manager for Canadian operations. “I think that’s the best word to use for it. There are many different construction processes and elements in the building that led to it being a big challenge to find a crane solution that would reach all points. That was definitely a joint effort with Pomerleau, Liebherr and Grues (J.M. Francoeur) combined. It took everybody combined to find a solution.”
Much prep work needed
Each company played a key role in the operation. Morrow and Liebherr supplied the big cranes whiles Grues J.M. Francoeur provided the mobile cranes and crew used to set up the larger ones and Pomerleau brought their expertise in planning and project management. And each needed to work in concert to keep this complicated project moving forward.
The installation of the Liebherr 630 EC-H required a great deal of prep work. First, a Grues J.M. Francoeur-owned Terex Demag CC2800 was employed with an 84-metre main boom and 96 metres of luffing jib. Due to space constraints, the CC2800 was erected and then walked across 6,000 tonnes of compacted soil into the proper position.
“We had pretty close to 300 crane mats to walk the crane from the erection to the installation,” said Pascal Francoeur, director of operations for Grues J.M. Francoeur.
The CC2800 then set to work building the Liebherr 630, an operation that also required special preparations. In order to reach all sides of the tower, the crane had to have its base set up inside the stadium itself. This required careful preparation, utilizing devices to maintain the fabric roof’s tension even after a section was cut out for the crane.
With the 630 EC-H constructed, the next step was the construction of the 710 HC-L. This required the use of a brand new Grues J.M. Francoeur-owned Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 with 36 meters of main boom length and 56 meters of luffing jib length. The 710 HC-L was to be installed on the curved “spine” of the building, just above the track for the exterior elevator. Building the crane and its base in that location made the LTM 1500-8.1 the ideal piece of the equipment to utilize.
A mobile and flexible machine
“We could get into that small space,” Forbes said of the 1500-8.1. “The advantages were the capacity required. It was a very long radius to erect the 710 HC-L. The HC-L is modular, and it worked perfectly to erect the crane in a small space and then to manage those capacities required to install the 710 HC-L.”
“It was easier to take this crane because of the ease of moving it around the job site,” Francoeur said. “It was easier to use, it’s more mobile and is more flexible.”
The 1500-8.1 will be used to take down the 710 HC-L upon completion of the project as well. Moving forward, maintenance on the project will be split between Morrow, Pomerleau and Grues J.M. Francoeur, along with daily maintenance performed by the crane operators. Such maintenance will be essential as the cranes will see a great deal of use over the next two years.
“We have a very demanding schedule with both cranes and we’re working with all three companies to ensure that they work flawlessly through the entire project,” Forbes noted.
— Matt Jones