On the morning of April 20, 2012 the crane in the Grande Prairie sawmill logyard was taken down. Built in 1985, the giant crane at the Grande Prairie Sawmill has been a prominent feature of the Grande Prairie skyline for decades. The crane was used to move logs from the logyard to feed the mill, a job normally done by traditional ground based equipment unsuitable to the clay and silt soils of the Grande Prairie mill yard.
Canfor recently invested $38 million in our mill in Grande Prairie, including extensive excavation of unstable soil materials and replacement with infill gravel and stabilizing geotextile. The new stabilized logyard will be able to accommodate the traffic of ground-based log hauling equipment.
When built 27 years ago, the crane was given a 20 year service live expectancy. In order to keep the crane operational, significant investments in structural and electrical improvements would be required. Given the mill’s move to cut to length log sizes and the improved efficiencies with ground based equipment moving smaller log sizes, the decision was made to invest in log yard improvements and retire the crane.
A significant safety hazard without the identified upgrades, the crane unfortunately must be dismantled. Canfor and the Grande Prairie community are marking the end of an era at our mill site with the loss of this prominent landmark.
Given the size of the job and the hazards involved, Canfor was unable to admit visitors to the mill yard to witness the demolition; however, the event have been filmed and footage is available below.