Mountain lift

30 April 2008

After a five–year construction period the new ‘mega–attraction’ Wynn Las Vegas opened its doors, as planned, on 28 April. The $ 2.7 billion, 217 acre resort, located on the world famous Strip, is not short of superlatives. A 50 storey, bronze–colored tower houses 2,716 rooms; there is an 18 hole golf course; and a full–service Ferrari & Maserati dealership. There is plenty of room for gambling as the casino covers almost 111,000 square feet. Outside, a 15 storey, 150 foot high, man–made mountain forms the city's latest top of the bill showpiece. The mountain is covered with trees, and waterfalls cascade down into a three–acre lake that is part of a nightly music and light show.

Construction of the $ 130 million mountain was quite a job–especially the installation of almost 10,000 trees. It kept Las Vegas crane and rigging company Dielco busy for almost a year, explains the company's Darrell Dieleman. The construction area–covering the mountain and the tower–would not have left much room for the numerous crane set–ups required to lift the trees in place. It was, therefore, decided to use one large crane positioned in a small open area between the mountain and the Strip.

As the crane was required to make lifts up to 160,000 pounds and to cover a 350 foot radius, Dielco's 660 ton Liebherr LR 1600/1 crawler proved to be the right crane. To cope with the requirements it had to be set in crawler configuration together with the additional outrigger supports. Boom rig consisted of a 115 foot main boom and a 276 foot luffer. Also, the 42 foot 6 inch derrick was required in combination with the additional wheeled counterweight carrier. A special path had to be constructed for the counterweight carrier to slew at radius of 52 feet. Total counterweight was 485,000 pounds.

Trees were loaded on the golf course under construction at the back of the tower before being moved to within reach of the crane. Positioning was according to a detailed lifting plan by Dielco. During execution of the project the lifting plan had to be revised due to changes in the tree plans, which included heavier and more distant trees. After almost a year on site the LR 1600/1 returned to base, only to be called back again shortly afterwards–some trees did not survive their moves and had to be replaced.

The Wynn project also required the use of other cranes during the resort's construction, including Dielco's 300 ton capacity Manitowoc Model 2250 with Max–Er and its 350 ton Grove GMK6350 wheeled mobile with luffing jib. And if, according to insiders, Steve Wynn starts again his Encore project, next to the Wynn, Dielco could face another round of work on a 2,000–room luxury resort.

The LR 1600/1 was rigged with 115 feet of main boom and 276 feet of luffing jib


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