29 January 2009


I believe the last girder to be lifted was in fact the 19th, not the 20th. Apologies for that.

28 January 2009

Number 20

Yeah, we're into the twenties.

25 January 2009

19 roof girders in place.

The above pictures show that more than half the girders are now in place. I remember when watching the painstaking operation of putting the first girder together and wondering how on earth 36 would be assembled and lifted before the Lions tour in June (the PE match in that tour being the earmarked opening match for this stadium) let alone the planned deadline of March this year. It seems my worries and I’m sure many other peoples’ worries over that time period were unwarranted as now these girders are going up at a somewhat astonishing rate. The PTFE membrane is now also being attached between the girders, with cladding continuing to progress well. As usual the upcoming batch of girders 20, 21 and 22 are being put together at an impressive rate, meaning we should see a few more liftings this coming week.

23 January 2009


One away from halfway. Full update tomorrow.

21 January 2009


Despite being somewhat difficult to see from this picture, the 16th girder has been lifted.

17 January 2009


An update on the progress. As we now know, 15 roof girders are in place. One is fully cladded, while three more are in the process of being cladded. It looks like preparations for the PTFE membrane to connect the girders is underway. We can expect the mebrane to start being fitted soon. Otherwise, paving stones are on site for paving to begin around the stadium. This is the first tangible move in the landscaping around the stadium to take place.

A shot showing the 15 girders aligned.

Another outer perspective.

The wrap-around roof of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The latest girder to be lifted, the furthest right in this picture. All 3 of these girders have been lifted this past week.

Cladding beginning on the next.

The paving stones.

16 January 2009

The beauty.

This picture, courtesy of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality website, gives a clear indication of the breathtaking beauty of our stadium and what it will look like from the air when complete. It was taken on 13 January 2009.

Click on the pic for a full sized view. Note in the nearest corner, the beginnings of the truss-linking PTFE membrane.

15 January 2009

Make that 15...

Yip, number 15 was lifted this morning. Full update tomorrow.

13 January 2009

Veering from the usual...

Although veering somewhat from the usual, as this not an update on PE's stadium, I believe that what has just occured warrants a special celebratory post. The arch is complete. Yes you heard right, the arch on Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium has just been completed!

Construction workers, not surprisingly, in a celebratory mood, dressing the completed arch in a tree and a South African flag. I feel quite certain that they're enjoying a few cold ones up there. (Source: Toxicbunny)

The magnificent arch. (Source: Toxicbunny)

Another truss!

The 14th was lifted this morning. View here.

11 January 2009

Around the country.

Things are happening, things are speeding up, things are nearing completion. There are now a number of stadia practically complete for the world cup (other than FIFA overlay). These are Loftus Versfeld stadium, Ellis Park stadium and Free State stadium. These 3 and the 4th being Royal Bafokeng stadium (also close to completion) will be used for the FIFA Confederations Cup™. The other stadiums - the new stadiums - are now all over 60% complete. Here's a rundown of a few images showing the progress. (All pictures have been sourced from SkyScrapercity)

Green Point Stadium

Outer view of the stadium. Compression ring complete, inner bowl complete. Roof construction pending. (Source: Mo Rush)

Good view of the completed seating tiers. Tension ring being put together in the foreground. This tension ring, which will be on the inside of green point's roof, is the secret that will allow this 3500 ton roof to, somewhat amazingly, stay up. (Source: Cape Town Municipality)

The tension ring being layed out across the tiers. I have no real idea how the construction of green point's roof is going to work. I guess we'll have to wait and see. (Source: Cape Town Municipality)

Moses Mabhida Stadium

The arch on the Moses Mabhida Stadium is two pieces away from completion.

Close-up of the fins forming the facade of the stadium. (Source: Durbsboi)

The full stadium. All permanent tierwork is complete. Arch, as can be seen, is nearly complete. The third tier, to be used purely for the world cup, is temporary and will be erected early next year as part of FIFA overlay. (Source: Durbsboi)

Today how the arch is looking. 2 pieces left. By the end of tomorrow we could see a complete arch.

Mbombela Stadium

Unfortunately a freak storm caused a 74m tower crane to topple on the site of the Mbombela Stadium. The damage includes that of a roof bay, 10 precast seating elements and some brickwork. It is not extensive and will take 1-2 months to complete. It will not push back the deadline for completion - June this year.

A nice outer perspective of the Mbombela Stadium. Almost half the stadium is now roofed. (Source: Tadpolefarm)

The unfortunate crane collapse. (Source: www.FIFA.com)

Stadium tunnel. (Source: Tadpolefarm)

The stadium in all its splendour. (Source: Tadpolefarm)

Peter Mokaba Stadium

Unfortunately there are no up to date photographs of current progress on the Peter Mokaba Stadium. What I can say is that the stadium is now 78% complete. Roof over the main stand is practically finished, with tierwork also nearing completion.

Soccer City Stadium

The magnificent bowl. (Source: Rulani)

Facade coming along nicely. (Source: Mo Rush)

Loftus Versfeld Stadium

Relatively old image showing the progress on the new roof over the once open pavilion. (Source: Mo Rush)


The 13th girder was lifted today.

10 January 2009

The 12th paper nautilus

The 12th girder was lifted late this week. Meanwhile girders 2, 3 and 4 are still rceiving cladding. 4's cladding is now onto the cantilever section of the girder as it moves it's way up. The girders, especially cladded, bare a striking resemblance to the paper nautilus shell found along our South Africa's coastline (hence the title). In a surprise move, a fifth jig (girder template) has been assembled on site and so we currently have four nearly completed girders on jigs, as well as a fifth jig on which the first two 'tusk-like' components are about to be lifted. I expect we'll see a number of lifts in quick succession if the wind dies down next week.

As cladding nears completion on the third truss, top, the resemblance to the paper nautilus shell becomes increasingly striking.

The 12th girder to be lifted can be seen on the right, while in the distance another is readied.

The Kobelco crane was already connected to the 13th girder, but gusts impeded the lift.

The brave men attaching cladding to the fourth. Once again, note the resemblance to our shell.

These guys are seriously brave/mad.

A nice close view of the newly lifted 12th.

A close look at the cladding on the fourth. Note how the transparency decreases as we move up the girder. This is because of large perforations at the bottom, getting smaller, until there are ultimately no perforations in the aluminium.

Looking through a jig, to a group of girders, either being built, or ready to be lifted into place.

And yet another update on the Newton Park Swimming Pool. Roofing girders and purlins attached, awaiting the sheeting.

Looking under the girders towards the pool.

07 January 2009

11th truss

The 11th truss was lifted yesterday morning and we were able to get down that afternoon to once again marvel at the precision engineering involved when these trusses are put together and lifted. On my part, I haven't stated often enough the amazing job our on site engineers are doing in lifting these extremely complex structures. The process engineering of lifting a roof truss is often taken for granted, yet it is highly complex engineering involved to pull off a lift. I doff my cap to these stellar members of society. The other 3 trusses are now complete and ready for lifting with the majority of the steel in place. When down there, the last of the steel purlins were being lifted into place on the 14th truss. Meanwhile, the perforated aluminium cladding is well progressed on trusses 2, 3 and 4. All in all, roofing at this point is about 30% complete, with the connection of the PTFE membrane to begin imminently.

The 11th truss sunning itself on the stadium superstructure.

Truss numbers 12 and 13 ready for the intense lift.

Truss number 14, the deja vu truss, almost complete with the last of the steel purlins going in place.

An outer perspective of the aligned trusses.

A further view of the 14th, with cladding on the background.

The three cladded trusses.

02 January 2009

How far we've come

Here follows a comparison of what has occured in the year of 2008. How far has our stadium come since the same time last year? Let's investigate.

View from the top

19 January 2008

Compared to...

9 December 2008

View from the side

19 January 2008

Compared to...

9 December 2008

View from the lake

19 January 2008

Compared to...

13 December 2008

Looking from the back road

19 January 2008

Compared to...

13 December 2008

Through the tunnel

19 January 2008

Compared to...

13 December 2008