Removal of collapsed crane underway in Halifax
Published Sunday, October 13, 2019 6:22PM ADT
Last Updated Sunday, October 13, 2019 6:34PM ADT
More than five weeks after the powerful winds of Post-Tropical Storm Dorian brought it down, the crumpled crane in downtown Halifax is finally starting to come down.
After weeks of preparation, crews began the painstaking process of removing pieces of the machine on Sunday.
“We’re getting prepared to take the front jib portion of the crane off the building, as well as the counterweight jib off the building,” says David Hamilton, Project Manager for the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “The front jib is the part you see draped over the front of the building, the counterweight is the portion of the crane that’s hanging over the law offices right now.”
Crews used torches to cut pieces of the crane away one-by-one and lower them down individually to South Park St.
The work drew a crowd of spectators, who watched and took photos as the first piece of the crane was brought down, 37 days after it fell on September 7.
There’s still no sense of just how long the labour intensive process will take. Some residents of nearby apartments and buildings have been out of their homes for over a month, with more residents of the Trillium Building evacuated on Saturday.
“We know this has been an extremely difficult for those who have had their lives and business disrupted by this incident. Our team will continue to do everything they can to move this project forward quickly and safely,” said Lloyd Hines, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, in a statement.
That’s meant a lot of anchoring for the crane.
“We have done work to stabilize the crane that we hadn’t completed last week, and we’ve put a platform over top of the law office to protect that roof in case of sparks and from falling debris once we take the counterweight jib off,” explains David Hamilton.
Pictures from inside the building show more than 20 different anchor points for the crane, bolted down so as pieces are removed, the structure should stay stable. Once a piece is down, crews pause, and climb back up to the next one.
Officials say that crews will be back on the Holiday Monday, and every day that that the weather allows, until the crane is down.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.