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Hospital construction cranes coming down

Heavy lifting for above-ground floors has concluded
They’ve done their job and now the two cranes at the Mills Memorial Hospital construction site are coming down. (Photo courtesy Northern Health Authority)

They’ve been fixtures on the Terrace skyline for more than a year and beginning Sept. 30, they’re coming down.

Both cranes towering over the $622.6 million new Mills Memorial Hospital construction site have finished what they were put up to do and are now being removed.

That’s because the heavy lifting of construction material for the above-ground floors of the structure has concluded so the two cranes are no longer needed.

The crane on the south end of the site will come down first beginning Sept. 30 and take approximately two days to be fully taken apart, says Northern Health’s Sarah Artis.

“Then the crane on the north end, closest to the overpass, will come down next and also take approximately two days,” she said.

Each of the cranes is 60 metres tall but one looks shorter than the other because their foundations are at different elevations.

“All components combined come to about 50 tonnes,” said Artis.

Those watching the cranes come down will see a mobile crane used to take the concrete panels on the back part of the jib, called the counter weight, come off first.

“Next, the front section of the jib will removed. Lastly, the vertical pieces will be taken off one by one,” said Artis.

The pieces will be stored until needed and will then be shipped out by truck.

The removal of the cranes marks another sign of progress at the site following the start of construction in June 2021.

Based on current construction timeline the outside shell of the approximately 356,500 square foot structure is to be finished by the end of the year, permitting activity to fully shift to the inside.

Substantial completion is set for two years from now in September 2024 but it will take approximately 18 months afterward for Northern Health to fully move in all that’s needed to begin transferring patients from the existing hospital and to admit new ones.

Unknown at this point is the construction and completion schedule for a new Seven Sisters mental health facility of 25 beds. It’ll replace the current Seven Sisters building of 20 beds which needs to be demolished to make room at the front of the new hospital for the main entrance and emergency entrance, canopies and drop off areas as well some gardens and a new parking lot.

The new Seven Sisters will cover some of the area on the southwest corner of the property as well as some of the parking lot in front of the psychiatric unit of the current hospital. Prep work for construction has begun at that location.

With the large cranes coming down, either mobile cranes or teleporters which are wheeled vehicles with extension arms will be used to lift materials to upper floor locations.

About the Author: Rod Link

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