Photo credit: Didi Duro
At 200 feet tall (or almost 18.5 storeys), West Park’s first crane was assembled last week in front of the current Ruddy Building or the future location of the new hospital’s north inpatient area.
“Installation of the first crane marks a turning point from deconstruction to construction. Over the next few weeks there will be the delivery of two additional cranes,” says Lecia Fagan, West Park’s project manager for construction. “Having our first crane onsite is a thrill, paving the way to our future vision.”
The other two cranes will be located in front of the former main entrance and by the former Kingsley Fox Courtyard.
Arriving in pieces on 10 tractor trailers, the Italian-manufactured crane by Comedil will be the smallest of the three cranes on campus. With a 300-tonne mobile hydraulic crane, the crane was fully assembled over a period of two days, not counting the two weeks it took to build the concrete pad it’s anchored on.
The single, heaviest part of the crane is the turntable, which allows the crane to rotate, weighing about 30,000 lbs. The front jib — or working arm that lifts the heavy materials such as steel, concrete and equipment — weighs almost 40,000 lbs when assembled together and has the capacity to lift up to 12,000 lbs.
The real heavy lifting is done by certified and licensed crane operators, who are among the highest paid on the construction site given the precision required in their work, safety responsibilities and long hours. Crane operators typically begin work 30 minutes before their crews, so they have time to climb to the top and perform inspections, and stay 30 minutes after in order to climb down.
With construction moving quickly on campus, patients, staff and visitors from a distance will see all three cranes in full operation soon.
“This will be a memorable summer as you witness firsthand the precision of the crane masters at work,” says Fagan.
See the Action
VIDEO: Building the Mast (Tower) (6:15)
VIDEO: Assembling the Front Jib (0:39)
VIDEO: Lifting the Front Jib (9:51)
VIDEO: Securing the Front Jib Above (0:46)