ALE has completed a record-breaking lift for the construction of the La Luna Hotel in Baku.
A huge, curved steel bridge, weighing 2,100t, was installed between the hotel’s two towers, at a height of 120m, to link them together. This was the greatest weight to ever be lifted so high using this method.
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 costly and impractical for the project’s congested site. ALE also faced the challenge of designing a solution that could operate in the region’s frequent high wind speeds, which risked significant delays to the project.
Strand jacks were prepared on specially-designed jacking beams, which were then mounted on each of the towers, 138m 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.
ALE’s method enabled the linkspan bridge, measuring 72m x 20m x 22m, to be constructed entirely at ground level. This minimised work at height and was a much quicker way of building the bridge.
Dan Kempin, Business Development Manager – Offshore Services, explained, “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.”
“This area can experience wind speeds of up to 80km/h and therefore we knew our lift monitoring solution had to be optimised for immediate reporting on wind speed and load displacement. The bespoke design of our strand jack monitoring process ensured ALE could continue to operate within a greater window of wind speeds, as we could monitor the real time wind effect – maximising the client’s operational time. We did this while still conducting the safest operation possible.”
ALE will be performing a further two lifts on the project. The seven-star luxury 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.