The legendary football stadium Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, home of the record champion Real Madrid CF, has been repeatedly rebuilt and enlarged since it was first constructed in 1947. Currently, the largest reconstruction project in its history is underway. The redesigned ultra-modern stadium with its hydraulically adjustable roof structure, retractable hybrid turf, LED-lit façade and new shopping, business and leisure facilities is scheduled for completion in the middle of this year.
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Liebherr mobile and crawler cranes from Grúas Aguilar are playing a key role in the modernisation measures. During the break in play caused by the World Cup in Qatar, the Madrid-based crane and transport company used two Liebherr crawler cranes to assemble the girders for the retractable roof. An LR 1700-1.0 and an LR 1600/2 lifted twelve 72-metre-long and 72-tonne cross beams to a height of 70 metres in tandem lifts. The two crawler cranes were positioned outside the stadium and had to cope with radii of 70 to 118 metres.
The Grúas Aguilar team and its cranes also had to overcome several major challenges when carrying out this exceptional operation. In particular, the limited space around the stadium made it extremely difficult to erect large lattice boom cranes. Therefore, the boom of the LR 1600/2 had to be mounted in a car park near the stadium.
Another difficulty was that the crane operators could not always see the cross beams when lifting them into the stadium. To ensure the success of the assembly, Grúas Aguilar’s design department meticulously planned the movements of each girder in advance, taking into account the respective angles of the main boom and luffing jib of the two cranes in each phase.
Originally, the assembly of the roof cross beams was to be carried out using a single, larger crane. After extensive testing, this plan had to be discarded due to, among other things, space problems in the vicinity of the construction site and the large assembly radii. Instead, Grúas Aguilar opted for tandem lifts using the LR 1700-1.0 and LR 1600/2 crawler cranes.
“Having assembled the entire roof of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, the completion of this job means the end of an exciting project for the Grúas Aguilar team,” says company owner Luis Aguilar. “The best feedback we can ask for is the fact that our customers have placed their trust in us day in and day out ever since we first started this special project four years ago. We also get great support from the Liebherr Ibérica team in terms of customer service and advice.”