Feb 01
Sky's Not the Limit
Sky's Not the Limit
Think of anything outstanding in the construction industry, one has but to turn to L&T. This isn’t a business slogan. Rather, it’s a statement of fact as far as the South Asia region is concerned.
The Buildings & Factories business of L&T has set yet another record by constructing South Asia’s largest skybridge at ITC One ~ a luxury hotel project in Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo.
Named ‘Ahasa One’ (Ahasa stands for Sky in Sinhalese), the skybridge is measured 55-metre longitudinally and 18-metre transversely. It houses a restaurant and a Jazz bar and, two infinity pools overlooking the Indian Ocean on one side and Beira Lake on the other. The construction marvel located at the arterial Galle Face Beach, is now the latest icon in Colombo. It is in the same locality where the Sri Lankan President hoists their National Flag at Independence Day.
The fabrication and erection of the 2,000 MT skybridge at a height of 95-metre is another story to share and treasure. Fabrication of the skybridge commenced at L&T Engineering Works at Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu about a year ago in October 2018. The task was completed in July 2019 with the load test using an innovative method for 3000 MT load designed and developed by L&T’s Special Projects & Construction Methods team.
Through with the load test, the skybridge was dismantled and shipped to Colombo. The maximum weight of a single element was 100 MT.
Consisting a few thousand components, the skybridge was then preassembled on the ground in front of the podium building of ITC One and skidded over with an indigenously developed sophisticated skidding system. On reaching the final liftoff location, engineers lifted the skybridge spine assembly with strand jacks and attached the hanging floor to the spine assembly. Here, concreting for all the three floors was carried out and attachments for the facade, the aluminium composite panel and the building maintenance unit were installed and painted.
Then came 15 December, the D-Day chosen for lifting the skybridge. The lifting process started at 5.20 in the morning and in about eight hours reached the final position, climbing a height of 95-metre. The fully dressed skybridge module was lifted using eight strand jacks, each having a capacity of 300 MT, mounted on the 25th floor and operated in a synchronised manner. The whole process was digitally controlled using a customised Smart Computer Control System.
To witness this stellar event, the entire team of ITC’s subsidiary Welcomhotels Lanka (Private) Limited, Special Projects & Construction Methods team and consultants from across the world, including the United States, turned up at the site. The who’s who of the engineering fraternity of Sri Lanka were also present to witness this grand event.
Significantly, ‘Ahasa One’ ~ South Asia’s largest skybridge ~ has been executed completely in-house by L&T, once again demonstrating its edge in handling such intricate and heavy engineering challenges.

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