Cranes Bring U.S. Landmarks to Life

So this summer when my family vacationed in Washington, D.C., I managed to refrain from pointing out the cranes, although it’s reassuring to note there were plenty of them, especially on the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. (Crane Hot Line reported on that job in November 2010.) To my surprise, however, my kids actually noticed a crane and made sure I knew they had seen it. They were fond of using a tower crane working between our hotel and the metro station as a visual landmark.

Meanwhile, I was in awe of how many completed projects I recognized from articles that I’ve written or edited over the years. I was quite unsuccessful in keeping my knowledge about these jobs to myself around my family. (Insert lots of eye rolling.)

The first project I recognized was the Freedom statue that resides on top of the U.S. Capitol building. I covered that story back in 1993, when Freedom was removed for restoration. I explained to my kids how a Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter removed and replaced the statue and that special rigging was engineered to lift the statue.

While touring the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, we got to see bones from a blue whale, the relocation of which Crane Hot Line wrote about when Crane Tech,Riverview, Fla., provided rigging training to Smithsonian employees. (May 2011).

I was looking into the distance from the Jefferson Memorial when my breath was taken away at the sight of three steel spires shooting into the air. I immediately recognized the landmark as the U. S. Air Force Memorial, which Balfour Beatty and Cianbro Corp. installed in 2006 and 2007. A Manitowoc 4100 Series 3 Ringer lifted the spires in place after months of careful rigging planning. Lucy Perry wrote about how AutoCAD modeling was central to designing the rigging in an October 2007 Crane Hot Line article.

Seeing these completed projects gave me a sense of accomplishment, knowing Crane Hot Line brought a snapshot of these jobs to the rest of the crane industry, and that I had a hand in making that happen. So, I can only imagine how the crane owners, operators, riggers, and the rest of the crane crew feel when they see projects they’ve helped bring to completion.

Without a doubt, knowing their background stories made the trip more meaningful to me. It’s hard to say whether my children or my husband felt the same way, but at least they humored me.

And that’s how I spent my summer vacation.

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