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In Pictures: Mace hopes Thames cable car will lead to more TfL work

Mace hopes its work on the UK’s first urban cable car, the Emirates Air Line, will cement a relationship with Transport for London to help win future work.

The £50m link across the Thames opened today and Mace project director Matt Randall said subcontractors had been hand-picked because of their proven ability to meet time and cost deadlines.


Subcontractors on the scheme included:

Steelwork: Watson Steel Structures

M&E: T Clarke

Piling: Bachy Soletanche

Piling: Red7 Marine

Fit-out: Lucas Fit Out Ltd


Mr Randall told CN he had worked with each member of the supply chain personally on previous jobs, and that the collaborative technique and accuracy of design helped to ensure the tight timescales were met.

“With Transport for London the fact that the design was clearly stated and set out in a clear brief and the process behind that was rigorous the design wasn’t changed and that was important for keeping to the timeframe.

“Our subcontractors weren’t necessarily the cheapest but I have personally worked with them all before and for example Watson Steel Structures were the only company that could deliver the towers at the speed we needed them.”

The South Tower stands at around 90m tall and is linked to the North Tower by twisted steel cabling comprised of nearly 300 separate strands of steel, 50mm thick, which stretches 1.1km across the river.

The contractor worked on the London Eye 12 years ago and Mr Randall said the new cable car ranked alongside that project in terms of the achievement and technical challenge.

He added: “There is no doubt that this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship with TfL.”

Among the challenges faced on site were that the scheme utilised a crane at 138m high which meant discussions had to take place with London City Airport as it entered into the safety zone of the airport.

After discussions were concluded, Mace was able to operate the crane 24 hours a day as opposed to a 12 hour restriction had permission been refused.

A total of 73 stakeholders from the London Port Authority to councils and resident groups were consulted on the scheme before it went to construction.

Mr Randall said key early milestones were set and met through collaboration to build confidence in the scheme up to the point where cabling could be pulled over the river in five stages to de-risk the project, including working into the night to the point of completion at 2am one morning.

He added: “It is fantastic that we have delivered this on time and that the quality is of a good standard. No-one was seriously injured on the project and it is to the benefit of all the contractors on the project who want to win work with the client of other blue chips going forward.”

 

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