New South Wales, Projects

A flexible craneage solution for a major project in the heart of Sydney

A flexible craneage solution for the new Sydney Metro Martin Place Station project in the heart of Sydney’s CBD demonstrates how early engagement and innovative thinking are the keys to success for project teams.

From their initial engagement on the construction of the new Sydney Metro Castle Hill Station and Sydney Yard Access Bridge at Central Station, heavy lift craneage experts Marr Contracting have subsequently been engaged to deliver bespoke craneage solutions across another four stations on the Sydney Metro City & Southwest line including Barangaroo, Central, Martin Place and Crows Nest.

Key to the successes Marr has achieved for their clients across these projects has been the willingness of client project teams to engage their craneage partner early in the planning stages – and to think differently about how craneage solutions can be procured and delivered.

Similar projects around the world have adopted the cut-and-cover box method, where crawler cranes are nearly always the immediate consideration, but Marr’s approach has consistently demonstrated that installing the right cranes can change the way an entire project is constructed, principally because of the ability to lift bigger pieces and remove the requirement for costly, challenging and time-consuming groundworks.

The benefits of using Marr’s technology – using fewer cranes with greater capacity and reach to deliver less complex, more efficient, and safer ways of constructing – is a game changer for future projects of this scale.


Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, the new Sydney Metro Martin Place integrated station development will include the new Martin Place metro station, two new commercial buildings above the station, a retail space, new underground pedestrian connections and improvements to the public domain.

John Holland CPB Ghella (JHCPBG) Joint Venture were contracted to complete excavation and civil works for the station redevelopment as part of the contract to design and construct the tunnel and station excavation works for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project.

Construction included building an underground platform-to-platform connection between the existing heritage-listed Martin Place Station and the new Sydney Metro Martin Place Station – built mainly by excavating new pedestrian tunnels from the Sydney Metro construction site.

Faced with a number of project constraints and a challenging schedule of works, JHCPBG turned to Marr for a solution.


Excavation and construction works on a congested CBD site in the middle of a busy pedestrian thoroughfare and high vehicular traffic area presented a number of challenges in terms of access, and the heavy equipment required onsite at different stages of the works to meet the demanding program.

Added to these constraints, JHCPBG’s scope of works included lifting 14 plunge columns that were 30-metres long and weighing 80 tonnes each as well as the associated 90-tonne drilling rigs, excavators and spoil removal.

The original craneage scheme proposed using two crawler cranes and a small tower crane installed on a steel platform to complete general and medium lifting requirements. For the heavy lifting requirements, a mobile crane operating on the street was proposed, but this would have required costly road closures and associated risks to the construction program. This solution could also only deliver the plunge columns in 20-tonne sections which then had to be assembled and welded onsite prior to installation.

Marr’s solution was to eliminate the need for road occupancies by installing one of its M1280D heavy lift luffers to do all the lifting from a single point within the site. This solution also allowed for the 80-tonne, 30-metre plunge columns to be prefabricated offsite and lowered into their final position.

The M1280D heavy lift solution gave JHCPBG the flexibility to meet the demands of lifting a range of different equipment as requirements changed on the project – which meant delays to the construction schedule were avoided.

“As tunnellers tower cranes are not necessarily something we have a lot of experience in, and certainly as we discussed at the start of the project there were some fears of that unknown quantity that the tower crane and its operation introduced. These fears were unfounded. Proposing the idea of the 400-tonne set-up on our steel platform was a massive win for us,” said Construction Director at CPB Contractors, Will Freelander.


The Martin Place South site was delivered ahead of schedule and Marr’s has now been engaged by the construction partners appointed to construct the follow on above ground works on Sydney Metro Martin Place Station.

“The reduction on mobile cranes and lift and shift equipment improved the site productivity by more than 100 per cent (i.e. we would have taken more than the same time again if we had used crawler cranes onsite). The risk of traffic and external factors affecting delivery was also eliminated by freeing up space on site,” Mr Freelander said.

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