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PC Harrington's concrete challenge

WEMBLEY

'WE WANT to prove to the public that this can be done, ' says PJ Harrington. As project director for concrete contractor PC Harrington, Mr Harrington is adamant about his firm's commitment to Wembley and the project's success.

'The only way to leave behind all the politics is by building the job. This is going to be very good for our profile and we are very honoured to be on it. It was a gamble and the gamble has paid off, ' he says.

At £50 million over two years, this is Harrington's single largest contract. In fact, Mr Harrington believes it may be the largest concrete package ever released in the UK.

In order to deliver a job of such significance the contractor has 12 tower cranes and an on-site batching plant, established by the firm's cement suppliers. So far, 17 weeks into a 98-week programme and after eight months of development work - of which 12 weeks have been on site - around 300 cu m of concrete has been poured.

Thirty six 40 m-high cores are to be slipformed - this technique was chosen over jumpforming because of its speed.

'The structure is not complicated - it is just vast, ' says Mr Harrington. 'The first 50 weeks are critical. After that all 36 cores will be erected and all the cranes will be down. Without the cores, the steel team cannot come in. After that we will be working on shallow drainage and ground bearing slabs, so the crawlers can get access to build the steel frame.'

PC Harrington has another reason for wanting to see the stadium built - it had a box at Wembley for 10 years. Now it wants a better one.