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Tue 10 Nov 2009 05:13 PM

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Last high altitude crane removed from Burj Dubai

Work on the world's tallest building now focused on the interiors, landscaping - Emaar.

Last high altitude crane removed from Burj Dubai
TOP VIEW: Three huge tower cranes were used to move construction materials up to level 156 of the iconic tower.(supplied)

The last high altitude crane used to build the Burj Dubai has been dismantled and work is now focused on interiors and landscaping, developer Emaar said on Tuesday.Three huge tower cranes were used to move construction materials up to level 156 of the iconic tower.

The operators of the cranes had been working at heights of more than 700 metres, almost double the height of the Empire State Building.

“Dismantling the cranes is an exciting development because it shows that completion of the world’s tallest tower is just around the corner,” said chairman Mohamed Alabbar.

“The sheer size, scale and architectural detailing of Burj Dubai demanded an unprecedented degree of engineering innovation. Working at great heights involving the use of massive cranes has been one aspect of the challenge.”

Installation of the cranes was relatively straightforward, as sections of the cranes could be moved up the tower with the completion of new levels.

But as the tower grew in height, the floor plates and working area became smaller and smaller, providing insufficient room to fit the three cranes at the top of construction.Dismantling them was a considerably more complex process.

The first crane was removed in November 2007 and installed at level 99 in order to serve as a future recovery crane.  

For the next eleven months, the two remaining cranes continued their climb up the tower until October 2008 when one of them was removed due to the small size of the tower’s floor plate. This left one final crane to continue with the rest of the exterior work.

In June 2009, the final crane had to be removed in order to allow the exterior cladding and finishing works to progress in the area it occupied. This longest serving crane had been in operation since the start of construction in March of 2005.

A small recovery crane was lifted up and installed at level 159. With recovery cranes now positioned at levels 99 and 159, the task of removing the last crane was ready to begin.

The process started with the crane climbing down from its working height of over 700 metres.  The crane removed its own mast sections and lowered them to the ground until the boom and power pack were at the position of the Level 159 recovery crane.

From there, the level 159 recovery crane dismantled the remainder of the main crane, lowering the pieces of boom, mast and power pack to the recovery crane at level 99, which further lowered them to the ground.

A team of 35 skilled technicians manned the cranes. In total, 11,000 people have been working on the project.

Emaar said last week that the Burj Dubai is set to open on January 4 to coincide with the accession day of Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed.

The Burj is now the world's tallest building and tallest man-made structure, having surpassed the height of the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, USA.

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Jun Oyales 10 years ago

Finally the world's crane of all cranes has successfully accomplished its mission. It was reigning for more than four years towering the sky and always greet everybody from all walks of life on an early morning tough job. It was full of hope in fulfilling its task and stands to be proud that everything was possible and never heard complained. I always seen it from the time it was installed up to the this date it retired cause I shared my full years working with it. It must have a special place to rest to remember its grandeur and glory. Jun Oyales(Samsung-QAQC)