Key steel installed in Invercargill CBD project

by Louisa Steyl

One of the most important parts of the new Invercargill CBD development has been erected.

Two 54-tonne K-frames were hoisted into place in the central city block at the weekend.

They are the largest ever used in the city and will provide the main seismic support on the Tay St side of the new commercial centre’s car park.

At a height of 15 metres and a width of roughly 12m each, it took two attempts to get the hulks of steel where they needed to be.

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ABL project director Bruce Middleton said the structures arrived at the construction site “like a Mekano set” and had to be bolted together and “tensioned up” before the lift.

A crew of 14, made up mostly of spotters, had to check all the connections and loading; and then watch them closely as two cranes lifted the structures.

A 250-tonne crane assisted in rotation of the frames, while a 400-tonne crane took over the heavy lifting.

“It’s not one of those things you want to lift without plans in place,” Middleton said.

The first lift attempt on Friday was abandoned because of a loading issue, and the frames were erected on Saturday morning.

The multi-million Invercargill Central Ltd development reached its construction halfway mark this month.

Although Farmers and Starbucks have already been announced as tenants, project developer and HWR director Scott O’Donnell​ said more retailers would be announced at a “halfway party” on July 29.

The development is expected to be complete by Christmas 2022.