One of the first truly visible signs of construction at the Shard in Southwark, London, is about to go up finally marking out the project on the skyline following the intensive groundwork on the site.
This will be coming in the form of the first tower crane which is scheduled to be erected up to the height of sixty metres.
To allow the crane to be constructed, the contractors on site have had to build a solid concrete base, not only for the TC2 to stand on, but also to support the mobile crane that has driven in to erect the larger crane.
Originally the contractors were going to use cranes supplied by Wolffs but they have reportedly switched to Terex Comedils, the same supplier whose cranes are being used to construct the Heron Tower.
Work meanwhile is progressing on the piling with some areas of the piling approaching completion meaning that the next step of construction is about to begin that includes the first parts of steelwork of the main building that will be erected by Severfield-Rowen. Severfield-Rowen not only have the contract to install the main steel frame of the building but also some services including parts of the plumbing.
The steel frame should be rapidly rising by the end of the year, almost a decade after the project was first mooted to an incredulous British public. What's more incredible is like the Empire State Building it's going ahead at all whilst the majority of supertall projects around the world have bitten the dust thanks to the global financial crisis.