Rain forces crane delays

Friday, 17th November 2006

The meeting, planned for Friday, between Manchester Phoenix MD Neil Morris and the contractors building the Altrincham Ice Dome has been postponed till Tuesday 21st.

The meeting was due to see the contractors give Morris an updated and revised date when the new ice arena will be ready. Since September, the Manchester Phoenix have been training and playing home fixtures in the bmibaby Elite League out of the Deeside Leisure Centre and ice Sheffield, and their Junior Development programme has been operating from Bradford.

However, heavy rain in recent days has forced an unforeseen change in the format and scheduling of crane use to install the all-important roof beams – critical to the final analysis of when construction will be completed.

The 50-ton crane that was planned for use has been removed due to stability issues on the rain-sodden site and because of the immediate proximity to the railway lines and power cables. Over the coming weekend, two 25-ton cranes will arrive on site to continue the installation of the roof beams in a safer, more manageable situation should the inclement weather continue over the next few days.

Morris stated, “Naturally, it’s disappointing that we’ve postponed the meeting till Tuesday, but it would be pointless as no roof beams have been fitted. The contractors have stated that once the first two, three or four beams have been fitted, they will be much more sure of the timescale involved in the rest of the construction.”

He added, “It would be very easy for me to throw my teddy out of the pram, but that would be futile and not very pro-active of me. I’m in regular dialogue with the contractors and believe me, they don’t want any more delays any more than I do – we’re all working to get this project completed as quickly as possible. If it wasn’t for the rain last weekend that saturated the place where the crane was going to work from, the meeting planned for Friday would still be on. As it is, we’ll wait for the first beams to go up and then re-evaluate the timescale.”