Vintage crane called to Quay project

  • 18/04/2013

The world's only functional floating heavy-lift steam crane has been helping with the construction of a new apartment complex on Wellington's waterfront.

Hikitia, built in 1926, is usually moored outside Te Papa but this week it was summoned to help dismantle and relocate a tower crane used on the $150 million building project.

The new Clyde Quay Wharf apartment complex is being built by LT McGuinness on the site of the old overseas terminal and is expected to open in June next year.

Contractors couldn't fit a ground-based crane on the pier to dismantle the huge tower crane so asked Hikitia and her many volunteers to help out.

Head volunteer and trustee Malcom McGregor, who spends his weekend restoring the vessel, says it is great to see the crane in action.

"It is rewarding on various levels. The contractors appear very pleased with what has been achieved in the last few days."

Although she can be powered by her own engines and propellers, Hikitia was helped to the construction site by one of the port's tugboats.

Mr McGregor says the "old girl" did the job with ease and the money earned from the lift will boost the efforts to restore the historic vessel, which has an annual maintenance bill of $50,000

The job was Hikitia's first commercial lift since 2011 when it helped fix one of the gangway doors at Interislander's terminal.

The 87-year-old crane has a certified lifting capacity of 80 tonnes but the pieces of the tower crane it was moving weighed only 14 tonnes. 

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source: newshub archive