Giant crane dominates skyline

IT'S not the sort of job for sufferers of vertigo.At 72 metres tall and towering above Ipswich's developing waterfront, operating this 45 tonne crane requires a strong head for heights.

IT'S not the sort of job for sufferers of vertigo.

At 72 metres tall and towering above Ipswich's developing waterfront, operating this 45 tonne crane requires a strong head for heights.

The cloud touching structure, which will be fully operational for the first time today , is the first of four which will aid in the construction of the waterside regeneration project.

It was delivered in dozens of parts, transported from St Neots in Cambridgeshire, and took five men from specialist firm Select three days to erect.

The crane, which comes complete with a qualified operator, has now been handed to contractor Blenheim House Construction Ltd.

It will remain on site until the end of the year, when the reinforced concrete frames of the new Regatta Quay building have been created.

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The cost of using the crane runs to around £10,000 a month.

Gary Turtill, Blenheim House's construction manager, said: “It is absolutely essential because the scheme is nearly land locked.

“The four cranes will be placed in strategic places so they can service the whole of the site.

“Once the frames are in place, the cranes serve no real purpose so they will be removed.”

The next crane to go up, in April, will be even bigger. At 85m, it is the tallest free standing crane available.

The 12-storey Regatta Quay development, built for client City Living, will eventually provide nearly 400 homes along with a new theatre, shops, cafés and office space.

The first section of the Regatta Quay building is due to be completed in January next year but many of the flats have already been pre-sold as investments.

The entire Regatta Quay development is due to take two years to complete and should be fully occupied by the middle of 2009.

What do you think about Ipswich's expanding waterfront? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Waterfront crane - the long and the short of it:

10,000 - the monthly cost to use

72 - metres tall

50 - length in metres of the jib

45 - weight of the crane in tonnes

4 - tonnes it can lift

1 - Number of people required to operate

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