It is not everyday that you get to see 600 tonnes of metal being lowered into the River Thames – yesterday down at Orchard Wharf was one of those rare occasions.
Urban Space Management that operate the Trinity Buoy Wharf complex in the Docklands area of East London were responsible for achieving this feat of engineering – along with the help of a few friends!!
The item in question will become a new river pier at Trinity Buoy Wharf, initially as the new operating base for the Thames Clipper fleet (who are already based at TBW) and ultimately as passenger pier for ferry services.
Unusually the pier was constructed on site at Orchard Wharf and then needed to be lowered in to the Thames by crane – more often new piers are constructed off site and then moved up river by tug.
Weldex Crane Hire deployed one of their large crawler cranes to the site to lift the new pier in to the river where JUMBO and HAVEN SUPPORTER were on hand to ensure it didn’t float away!!
As always these operations are undertaken in stages to ensure all is in order and all the preparatory checks had been completed the lift began and the pier took to the air.
The crane then had to move forwards with the load suspended in the air to ensure the pier cleared the river bank.
Then it was slowly lowered into the water and then was secured in place (once it was made sure it wasn’t going to sink!!).
Then the tugs moved in to position to take the new pier down to the King George V Dock where the pier will be balanced before it returns to Trinity Buoy Wharf.
It was quite amusing to watch the waiting support vessels whilst the lift was underway – almost like circling sharks waiting for something to go wrong!!
This is a time-lapse video of the operation.
More pictures can be seen here.