James Alexander Engineering Ltd
The Bentall Centre, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey, KT1 1TP
The Bentall Centre is a shopping precinct located in the riverside town of Kingston-Upon-Thames, midway between Surrey and London. The distinctive architectural-styled centre was built on the site of Britain’s iconic Bentalls department store, dating back to 1867, and is now home to fashion and beauty brands as well as cafes and restaurants.
The architects retained the original façade, dating from 1935, and introduced features such as a spectacular central atrium, which is taller than the dome at St Paul’s Cathedral.
When a new interior pedestrian bridge needed to be added inside, James Alexander Engineering Ltd turned to JT Cranes to provide the combination of experience, expertise and equipment needed to get the job done.
We approached this situation as we do with every job – by utilising the tools which were able to deliver the solution needed, in a limited time frame and with the least possible disruption. In this case, instead of using typical heavy plant machinery, we used cranes small enough to enter the centre via service corridors designed for visitors and was powerful enough to raise the bridge into position safely. Once in the centre, the cranes also had to be lightweight enough to operate without damaging the fabric of the interior.
We lifted the bridge into position using two Jekko SPX1275 cranes, powered by 3 phase electric motors, which combined all-of-the features needed for a successful result. Each crane was more than capable of lifting the weight of each half of the bridge and raising it to the elevated position required. Even more importantly, they offered the flexibility to be able to enter the centre via access which was severely limited.
The services doors in which the cranes entered, for example, was only 2050mm high, which gave each crane a clearance of just 10mm when passing through. In addition to this the narrow nature of the corridors meant that the small outrigger footprint of the crane made it the ideal choice, and even then, the two outriggers from the crane had to be removed while each was entering the centre.
Once on site, each Jekko SPX1275 was able to lift and reattach the outrigger which had been removed, and with two outriggers in place each crane was able to lift the bridge into position and hold it high above the shopping centre floor while the two sections were bolted together.
Upon safe installation, each crane was able to remove its outriggers once again to exit the shopping centre. From start to finish, the job was completed over the course of a single night shift, which meant that disruption to the shopping centre was kept to an absolute minimum.
“The whole job went well and to plan. The lifting teams had to work within a tight time scale to access the site via narrow service corridors. Once on site, the versatility of the impressive Jekko SPX1275 meant it could reattach its own outriggers, before lifting operations could commence.
The whole team worked well together to achieve this in one night shift to minimise disruption to the shopping centre, which was absolutely key.” Darren Lee, Operations Manager at JT Cranes
If you have a project which needs lifting power and versatility, combined with expertise gained through years of experience, then get in touch with us at JT Cranes.