Leading UK construction and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine has secured a contract to install a retractable roof for No.1 Court at the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament, Wimbledon. To help complete the project, the company acquired four new Potain MR 608 cranes at the beginning of August, with work for the units starting in September.
Steve Barnett, commercial director for the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia at Manitowoc, managed the contract for the cranes and explained its significance:
“Sir Robert McAlpine is one of the most distinguished and experienced companies in the industry and we are excited to work in collaboration with them on this high-profile project,” he said. “Working at the iconic tennis grounds is a huge honor for us, and we are confident that the MR 608 has the right mix of features and capabilities to handle this project to the highest working standards.”
The Potain MR 608 delivers its best performance when fitted with the optional 150 LVF 80 hoist, which offers industry-leading lifting capability and is perfect for high-rise buildings. Maximum capacity for the crane is 32 t and the maximum jib length is 60 m.
“We chose the Potain MR 608s for their strong capacity and long reach, and to allow for more flexibility on the court during the construction process,” explained Steve Wright, commercial plant manager at Sir Robert McAlpine. “Additionally, because of its quick set-up, precise controls and Ultra View cab, which provides outstanding visibility, the MR 608 was an obvious choice.”
The construction work on No.1 Court commenced at the end of August, starting with the removal of the existing fixed roof. This work is due to be finished by 2017. The development includes a new retractable roof, an additional 900 seats, a new public plaza to replace Court 19 and new hospitality facilities. The entire development is scheduled for completion by 2019. Wimbledon’s first retractable roof over Centre Court was completed in 2009.
Founded in 1869, Hemel Hempstead-based Sir Robert McAlpine is a family-owned company that specializes in construction and civil engineering. The company has offices across the U.K. and constructed the London Olympic Stadium as well as the Emirates Stadium, home to Arsenal Football Club.