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Crane to tower over landscape at MC construction site

Barry McNamara
The crane in this recent photo from the construction site of Monmouth College’s Center for Science and Business is 110 feet tall. The crane coming next week will be 50 feet longer with the capability to extend an additional 40 feet.
What’s the highest structure within the city limits of Monmouth?

Beginning Nov. 28, it will be a crane on the campus of Monmouth College.

The 100-ton crane – which will have a 160-foot boom and a 40-foot jib – will arrive in Monmouth on Nov. 28 to install the beams of the three-story Center for Science and Business. Using 10 feet per story as a guide, the crane will be 16 stories high and sometimes taller when the jib is extended.

“We needed to get FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) clearance before we could bring it here,” said Roger Hess, MC’s director of construction services. “It will be required to have a flashing light on top.”

Low-flying objects need to beware, but local drivers don’t. Hess said the crane’s arrival is not expected to cause any traffic problems around campus.

Once the half-day assembly process – which will actually require yet another crane – is complete, Hess said the crane will begin erecting steel on Nov. 29. The project will go through December and January and is expected to end in February, weather permitting.

In most cases, the beams will be bolted together, although there will be few instances where welding is used. The steel will be erected all the way up, one side of the building at a time.

“It’s going to change overnight,” Hess said of the campus landscape. “For a while, it will be really tall in one spot, and they’ll be nothing on the other spot.”

In general, Hess added, the $40 million project is “moving along right on schedule. We had a week of bad weather, and that put us a few days behind, but that’s not too bad when you’re talking about an 18-month project. We are still on schedule to be done in the spring of 2013.”