Everton stadium reaches new milestone

Work on Everton FC’s new £500m stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is gathering pace with the first ‘super-columns’ of steelwork now installed at the site. Tony McDonough reports

Everton
The first super-columns of steelwork have been installed on the site of Everton’s new stadium

 

Contractors working on Everton FC’s new £500m stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock have reached a major milestone in the project.

It was revealed on Friday that the first super-columns of steelwork have been installed on site at Liverpool Waters. Building giant Laing O’Rourke started work on the 52,888-capacity arena in summer 2021.

The first 18-tonne, internal super column was installed earlier this week in the north western quadrant, where it will soon be annexed to the concrete elevation. The north east corner will soon follow suit, with the two corners expected to be conjoined by a lattice of steelwork within six weeks.

Steve Farden, structural principal engineer for Laing O’Rourke, said: “It is a huge milestone for the project. I’ve been working on the project for two years and a lot of detailed planning has gone into preparing for the first steelwork column to go into the north west stand.

“It signifies the start of the construction of the structural steel frame, which in turn will enable us to commence the concourse works for the north stand. Within three weeks, the steelwork will be up to level two and connected to the concrete core in the corner.

“This then means we can start readying for the fit-out phase and working towards opening parts of the stand for fit-out and commissioning.”

The super column, the first of more than 12,000 tonnes of steelwork that will make up the framework of the stadium, was installed with the help of engineers from Severfield steel fabricators in Bolton, who will oversee the work in the north and south corners.

It is expected the 12-phase project to build the new stadium, which will replace the club’s current home at Goodison Park in Walton, will take 150 weeks. It is hoped the Blues will be able to kick off the 2024-25 season at the new ground.

In April, Everton struck what was seen as a remarkable deal with Laing O’Rourke. The builder has agreed to complete the project while providing Everton with greater certainty as to the cost. This is despite the price of raw materials and labour continuing to rise.

Bramley-Moore Dock itself is in the heart of Peel L&P’s £5bn Liverpool Waters regeneration project. First unveiled more than a decade ago, Liverpool Waters promised whole new neighbourhoods with homes, offices, shops and restaurants along with public squares and walkways. But progress has been slow.

In the last few weeks there had been concerns the viability of the scheme was in jeopardy with Everton fighting for its Premier League survival. Frank Lampard’s team managed to avoid the drop but the club, and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, had already insisted the stadium would go ahead regardless.

Steve Farden added: “Holding these super columns up are six 50mm diameter bolts, which go into a pile cap that weighs 15-20 tonnes. Below that are a total of six 15 metre concrete piles that go straight into the bedrock below, so all of that is holding the columns into the ground.”

The next major development on site is the construction of four tower cranes – one for each quadrant – which will shortly add to the Liverpool skyline to aid the installation of steelwork at heights.

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