ALE has completed a first record-breaking lift for the construction of a La Luna Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan. The huge, curved steel bridge, weighing 2,100 tonnes was installed between the hotel’s two towers, at a height of 120 metres to link them together. It was the greatest weight ever lifted so high by far.
As the La Luna hotel has a unique design, ALE had to create a bespoke methodology for the project’s manoeuvres. Using several large cranes to lift the bridge would have been too costly and impractical due to the congested site condition. In addition, with the frequent high wind speeds in the region, it increases the risk to significant delaying the progress of the project.
Hence ALE has prepared strand jacks on specially-designed jacking beams, which were then mounted on each of the towers, 138 metres above the ground. The entire beam assembly consisted of jacks, beams, clevises and strand jacks, with SPMTs used to provide additional support to the clevises.
Using ALE’s proposed solution, the linkspan bridge, measuring 72m x 20m x 22m was constructed entirely at ground level, minimising working at height and shorten the time to fabricate the bridge.
Civil engineering projects often pose unique challenges. On this occasion, we brought across our offshore strand jacking expertise, allowing us to work in confined spaces, with restricted lifting options and using a micro-step by micro-step methodology. So, ALE’s global experience of designing custom solutions for a variety of bridge installations enabled us to tailor our equipment and methodology for the La Luna hotel project.Dan Kempin, Business Development Manager – Offshore Services, ALE
He added that the area can experience wind speeds of up to 80 km/h and therefore their lift monitoring solution had to be optimised for immediate reporting on wind speed and load-displacement. This ensured ALE could continue to operate within a greater window of wind speeds, as they could monitor real-time wind effect and maximizing the client’s operational time at the safest operation possible.
ALE will be performing a further two lifts on the project. The seven-star La Luna hotel will be in the shape of a crescent covering 125,000m2 with 28 storeys. The hotel’s design has given the area its name, with Baku’s new development area called Crescent Bay Construction began in late 2014 and the hotel is currently expected to open in 2021.