October 9, 2002

Crews Dismantle Duffield Crane

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Workers will begin dismantling the large crane today that has towered for almost a year over the Duffield Hall construction site. Burt Crane and Rigging, the subcontractor employed to remove the crane, will use two smaller mobile cranes to take down the structure.

The crane was erected in October 2001 and is one of the largest operating cranes in the world. It is 145 feet tall and can hold a maximum loading weight of 33,000 pounds.

“We will lose a valuable landmark to navigate campus,” said Amy Ritter, the Duffield Hall project manager.

Duffield Hall will be the new home for the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility, which is slated for completion in 2004. The facility, currently located in the Knight Laboratory, is the nation’s oldest federally sponsored nanotechnology center.

According to a subcontractor representative, the process will likely be completed by tomorrow.

Brian D. Brown, construction manager for the Duffield Project, outlined the process as starting from the top down. The subcontractors will first remove the booms — the “arm” of the crane — and the weights attached to them, then continue down, removing 12-foot segments of the base at a time. All of the pieces will then be placed on oversized tractor trailers and driven off the site.

The crane was used on the Duffield site for lifting heavy materials, such as stone, into the superstructure of the building. With the shell of the building now almost complete, construction on the roof and interior will begin soon.

“We will be using a mobile crane to lift the steel for the atrium and complete the rest of the interior of the building,” Ritter said. The mobile crane will be smaller than the present crane and more easily maneuverable.

Project coordinators were able to reevaluate the need for the crane, which was originally slated to be rented until March 2003.

“It [was] not cost-effective to keep the crane once the superstructure was completed, especially during the winter months,” Brown said.

The construction site, with its vibrantly painted barrier, has become a distinctive part of Cornell’s landscape. Students look forward to the building’s completion.

“I just can’t wait for the building to be finished because I’m tired of walking around it,” said Artem Ivashchenko ’05. “Hopefully next they’ll get a walkway through it.”

There are currently no plans for a walkway through the construction site in the near future.

“There’s too much traffic going in and out of the quad,” said Susan D. Drew, Duffield Hall project coordinator. “We thought about putting a walkway in between Carpenter Hall and the trucks but we just can’t. It’s a safety issue.”


Archived article by Emily Sketch