It’s been a prominent part of our local skyline for over 60 years, but now it’s time to say goodbye to the TCN-9 Tower at Willoughby, with a unique and specialised removal that took 12 months to plan and will take almost another 12 months to complete.

Thanks to the TCN-9 studio and its first transmission tower in the country, Willoughby became the official birthplace of television in Australia. On 16 September 1956, Bruce Gyngell was the first official man on television opening with the now-famous phrase: “Good evening, and welcome to television”.

The first TCN-9 transmission tower was replaced in 1965 with the current much bigger one, and it has stood prominently over the area for the last 50 years. However, now that Channel 9 has moved its offices to North Sydney, and Mirvac has bought the site, the tower is set to be removed.

Along with the Mirvac development comes some very specialised plans for the complex removal of the 233 metre high tower. Work will begin as early as May of this year, and preparatory work has already begun. Due to the height of the tower, which is the same as a 77 storey building, Marr Contracting has been engaged to design and build a specialised crane structure. Critical infrastructure experts, Kordia, have been appointed to safely dismantle and remove the tower.

The 200m high specialised crane structure will be supported by steel cables which will be anchored into the bedrock. Taking around two months to erect, the crane will remove the tower in sections.  The process is estimated to be completed in early 2022.

Toby Long, Mirvac’s General Manager, Residential Development NSW, said Mirvac had carefully selected its partners based on their reputation and proven experience in undertaking projects of this scale and complexity.

“Our team is comprised of experts in their field, and safety is the priority for everyone involved. We have undertaken extensive consultation in preparation for these works, and we look forward to working closely with the design and contracting teams, the authorities and the local community to carefully dismantle and remove the tower as part of the wider redevelopment works on the site.”

Marr Contracting Managing Director Simon Marr said, “We helped build the TCN tower back in the 1960s so we were determined to find a way to bring it down safely. Over 12 months working with multiple stakeholders, we designed an approach involving some of our unique equipment and the introduction of guy wires to laterally support the tower crane and allow it to climb to the required height to dismantle the tower.”

Once the transmission tower is removed, Mirvac will begin the next phase of the redevelopment, unlocking a site that has been closed off for more than 70 years. “Our vision is to create an exemplary residential community of quality designed and built homes integrated into the landscape. New public open space will connect to the existing neighbourhood, leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come,” added Mr Long.

It goes without saying that many in the community will miss the prominent structure, with fond memories of spying their very own ”Eiffel Tower” on the horizon. Mayor Gail recently commented for the Sydney Morning Herald, however, saying “that the tower “absolutely” divided local opinion. “I think while the tower’s an iconic landmark, it’s also one where if you can return the site to its natural state, people are supportive of that. It’s pretty exciting.”

Stay tuned to Willoughby Living for further updates on the project.

For more on the history of the Tower and the plans to dismantle it, please click below: 

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