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Last mast erected for roof of BC Place stadium in Vancouver

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The last of the 36 masts that make up the main structural feature of the retractable roof at BC Place stadium in Vancouver has been lifted into place.
Mast being erected for BC Place roof
Mast being erected for BC Place roof

VANCOUVER

The last of the 36 masts that make up the main structural feature of the retractable roof at BC Place stadium in Vancouver has been lifted into place.

“With the completion of this engineering milestone, the next major portion of the project is to install and tension the cable net that is being suspended from the masts, in order to support the new fabric roof,” said David Podmore, chairman of BC Pavilion Corporation.

“With the completion of this key heavy-lifting phase of the project, we are confident the remaining elements will be completed on time this fall.”

The masts were assembled inside the stadium and then lifted into position by a crane over the past few months.

Each mast is 50 metres in length and weighs about 240 tonnes.

The final 240 tonne mast has been installed for the new BC Place roof.

The retractable centre portion of the roof is the size of the playing field at BC Place, and made of flexible Tenara fabric. The outer permanently-fixed portion of the roof is made of Polytetrafluoroethylene Coated Fiberglass, and will cover all of the seating inside BC Place, in all weather conditions.

Construction on the stadiums new retractable roof was officially launched in April 2010 with the deflation of the giant Teflon roof.

The 16 giant fans used to keep the building’s air-supported dome inflated were shut off, and the roof was deflated in about one hour.

Burnaby-based Pacific Blasting and Demolition removed the fabric and sent it to a Minneapolis firm that specializes in recycling the fabric. PTFE is a Teflon coated fiberglass material which doesn’t easily breakdown in landfills.

In October 2009, the B.C. government and PavCo awarded a fixed-price contract to PCL Westcoast Constructors Inc. for the new retractable roof.

The total cost of the roof replacement project is $458 million and it will create about 3,000 person-years of employment.

As part of the redevelopment of the stadium area, the province has awarded a 70 year lease to Paragon Development Ltd.

The deal could lead to a new $450-million casino and hotel to be built in one of the parking lots on the southeast side of the stadium.

by Richard Gilbert

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