Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New tower construction: Tower crane 101

We’ve asked Lee Williams, our partner with CBRE, the company serving as CoxHealth’s program manager on the project, to give us his insights as the new tower at Cox South comes out of the ground.
Since the groundbreaking, we’ve anxiously been awaiting the arrival of our tower cranes to ease congestion on the construction site and give us access to the upper floors of the new patient tower as it comes out of the ground.  After countless hours of behind-the-scenes work and coordination between CoxHealth and our construction manager Beck/Killian, the day has finally come.
Due to the shape of the new tower, two tower cranes are needed to cover the entire construction site.  The larger of the two will be located on the south side of the jobsite, not too far from where the Turner Connector Corridor was located.  The smaller crane will be located near the northwest corner of the new tower.

Tower crane dimensions are typically given in terms of “hook height” and “hook reach” – how high and how far from its base the crane is capable of lifting a load.  The maximum weight the crane can support varies by how far out from the base the load must be supported – the further away, the less you can lift.  Most capacities are given in terms of how much the crane can lift at the tip of the boom.  Here are some stats for both cranes:

South Crane
North Crane
Hook Height
225 feet 
187 feet
Hook Reach
197 feet
148 feet
Capacity at Tip
10,100 lbs
15,700 lbs
Total Height
255 feet
220 feet

 In other words, the larger crane can pick up a load weighing as much as five Volkswagen Beetles, raise it to a height equal to a 12-story building, and put it back down anywhere within a 2.8 acre circle.  The smaller crane is capable of lifting eight Volkswagens 10 stories, and covers an area slightly larger than a football field.

Unfortunately, these tower cranes don’t erect themselves (although some do!).  To get our cranes in the air, Beck/Killian is working with a crane company headquartered here in Springfield to bring a 300-ton hydraulic crane on site.  This Grove 300 Ton crane is the largest mobile crane in southwest Missouri – requiring a fleet of five tractor trailers to transport all of its parts and pieces.  It takes nearly an entire working day just to set up the mobile crane required to erect the tower cranes.

CoxHealth has allowed Beck/Killian to temporarily close a portion of the parking lot near the construction trailers to stage the trucks bringing in pieces of the tower cranes.  We’re grateful for the patience of the folks who normally park in this area as we complete this operation over the next few days.