For 25 years, a colossal metallic structure stood guard at the Port of Burnie. By day, this 90 metre crane hauled cargo off ships; by night, it enchanted children with a dazzling display of lights wrapped around the apparatus. But this iconic part of the Burnie skyline will soon disappear as part of a port redevelopment. The collapse of the crane comes as TasPorts pursues plans to expand bulk mineral export capacity and establish an international container terminal. RELATED: Chief executive Anthony Donald said the removal of the decommissioned crane was an important step towards growing the potential of the port. "The removal of the crane paves the way for future growth plans and provides immediate relief around berth congestion and accessibility. Importantly, it also improves safety for all port users, removing a significant piece of decommissioned infrastructure," he said. TasPorts has been working with contractor BridgePro to plan a controlled collapse of the crane in the coming weeks. Mr Donald said an exclusion zone and traffic management plan would be established during the demolition. "This will be quite a spectacular event and it's only natural people will be keen to see it unfold, however it is important that we maintain the highest safety standards and ask the Burnie community to please avoid the area during these works," he said. The Portainer crane was installed in February 1994 to handle bulk cargo growth at the Burnie Port Authority. The 680 tonne structure was the first and largest of its kind in Australia with its 40-tonne container handling capacity and 80-tonne heavy lift capacity. The crane was part of a $27 million expansion project, the largest single port development in Tasmania at the time. The $12 million crane was officially opened by then Premier Ray Groom on April 8, 1994 and decommissioned in 2010. While the crane had an important economic function, it also added to the Christmas cheer of the city. Zoe Lucas grew up in Burnie and said she had vivid memories of the crane dressed in lights. "Every Christmas, you used to get the lights on the crane. It looked like an emu," she said. "It was something that was always there. It's like the woodchip pile. It's iconic to the port." Ms Lucas understood the crane needed to be removed but lamented "the things that sort of made our town, our town are going away". "I remember the pulp mill when I was little and I remember how this place used to be quite industrious," she said. "I get why it's all going away but it's sad seeing that little piece of history go away when you've grown up here." What do you think of the removal of the crane? Have your say by sending us a Letter to the Editor using the form below.