What are the latest tower crane projects in North America?

Tower cranes are the machines of choice on high-rise projects throughout North America. Small and large projects benefit from the efficient work of these impressive lifting machines that can be powered by conventional fuel, electricity or they can even be battery operated.

Five Liebherr tower cranes – three Liebherr 630 EC-H units, one Liebherr 550 EC-H and one Liebherr 542 HC-L – are constructing two towers at the famed St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, TN.

Often, multiple tower cranes operate in tandem on a jobsite, lifting materials to various parts of the building or jobsite under construction. They can be tied to the side of a structure or rise from within. The versatility of a tower crane is another reason they are so popular.

ACT rounded up a smattering of impressive tower crane jobs located all around North America.

St. Jude’s expansion

Flintco utilized three Liebherr 630 EC-H units with final hook heights of 345 feet top climbing, one Liebherr 550 EC-H and one Liebherr 542 HC-L tower cranes freestanding on the St. Jude’s hospital project in Memphis, TN. One of the new buildings will house the new outpatient offices and the other will be home to new clinical offices. Each building will be 15-stories, making them two of the tallest buildings on the hospital campus. St. Jude’s is the leading children’s cancer treatment center founded by Danny Thomas in 1962, and Morrow Equipment was honored to be a part of this project, according to President/COO Peter Juhren.

The three 630 EC-H cranes are being used on the two new main towers, and the 550 EC-H and the 542 HC-L are being utilized to construct the parking deck. Flintco chose the 630 EC-H cranes for their heavy lift capacity and long jib reach. The 542 HC-L luffing boom tower crane was chosen for its compact tail swing and the ability to clear the 550 EC-H when working in a tightly restricted area.

Logistical challenges were placing the cranes in the best location to give full coverage and enable the construction to flow in the most efficient way. Morrow’s engineers worked closely with the Flintco team to achieve the optimum crane placements, also taking into consideration the required space to enable the cranes to be erected and dismantled in the most economical way. Morrow’s team put together a full turn-key package, including engineering, freight, erection and dismantle, communication systems and tower crane operators.

“Flintco chose Morrow for their unsurpassed engineering, service and quality equipment to ensure their project would be completed on schedule,” said Juhren. “The quality of the Liebherr product, backed by Morrow’s first-class support systems, were the clear choice.”

Nashville Yards takes shape

The Nashville Yards Construction project is a massive development in downtown Nashville, TN, that will transform the area into a vibrant mixed-use district. Spearheaded by Nashville Yards Development, the project encompasses multiple phases and features a mix of residential, commercial, retail and entertainment spaces.

For the Nashville Yards project, Maxim supplied six tower cranes – three Potain MR 415s, two MD 485s and one MD 569 unit.

Maxim Crane Works, one of the largest crane rental companies in the United States, has played a significant role in facilitating the construction of Nashville Yards. Recognizing the scale and complexity of the project, Maxim supplied seven cranes to accommodate various construction needs. These cranes, ranging in size and capacity, are instrumental in lifting heavy materials, facilitating building construction and ensuring the project progresses efficiently.

As one of the largest projects in the country, Nashville Yards requires specialized equipment and expertise to meet its ambitious goals, according to the company.

“Maxim Crane Works’ provision of six tower cranes and one mobile crane, underscores its commitment to supporting large-scale construction endeavors and contributing to the successful realization of transformative urban projects like Nashville Yards,” said Nick Oldfield, vice president of digital and marketing.

Beyond the mobile crane supplied by Maxim, (a 265-ton Liebherr LTM 1220-5.2 all-terrain crane), the company dispatched three Potain MR 415s, two MD 485s and one MD 569 unit to the jobsite. The general contractor on the project is Clark/Bell. Subcontractors include Baker Concrete and McHugh Concrete.

Waterfront lifting in Tempe

Stafford Crane Group (SCG) is proud to be part of the “South Pier” project, located on prime waterfront property in Tempe, AZ. In collaboration with the general contractor Clayco, SCG is providing three new Stafford Soima SGT 8041TL tower cranes.

Stafford Crane Group has three new Stafford Soima SGT 8041T tower cranes on the South Pier project in Tempe, AZ.

The project’s location, on the South shore of Tempe Town Lake near Rural Road, presented both opportunities and challenges. Meticulous planning and execution were paramount, given the project’s scope of 1.3 million square feet, including three building towers, three levels of subterranean parking, podium amenities and retail spaces.

During the erection process, the SCG team utilized a Tadano AC 7.450-1 as the assist crane. With the base of the tower cranes sitting at the bottom of the subterranean parking structure, proper planning and coordination with the general contractor on assist crane locations and protocols was critically important. The erection process was an overall success, with a duration of six days for the three cranes.

Use of the Stafford Soima SGT 8041T cranes are enabling the general contractor to meet the specific demands of the project, including a tip capacity of 17,750 pounds at 180-foot hook reach, and a maximum lifting capacity of 35,270 pounds on all three tower cranes.

“With a crane on each tower and their close proximity to one another, it was key to plan accordingly and minimize costs for our client,” said Patrick Stafford. “In order to achieve this, a series of reinforced tower sections were installed on the central tower crane, allowing it to free stand at a tower height of more than 300 feet throughout the project. The two outer cranes are starting at a lower free-standing height, and will be climbed to leapfrog the central crane later in the project.”

He said the SGT 8041TL’s robust capabilities ensure that safety remains a top priority throughout the construction process. Rigorous adherence to safety protocols, combined with the expertise of the crane operators, mitigates risks and ensures a secure working environment for all personnel involved, Stafford said.

This is just the first phase of development along the South bank of the Tempe Town Lake, as the area continues to be revitalized. The three towers currently under construction are mixed-use, with both residential and commercial units included. The completion date is projected to be sometime in 2026, with future phases including hotels as well as office space.

Growing the Madison skyline

Located blocks away from the state’s capitol in Madison, WI is a new 14-story development downtown utilizing two new Potain flat-top tower cranes owned by Reynolds Rigging & Crane. The project commenced in December 2023.

Reynolds Rigging & Crane has a Potain MDT 489 M25 and a MDT 219 J10 on a project in downtown Madison, WI. 

Building on a zero-lot line property that required the work of two tower cranes, the Potain MDT 489 M25 and Potain MDT 219 J10 proved to be best cranes to overcome some of the obstacles on the job, according to Amy Marten, Reynolds vice president of business development.

The taller crane on the job, the MDT 489 M25, is a 55,200-pound maximum capacity crane with 262 feet of jib. The shorter crane on the jobsite is the MDT 219 J10, with a 22,000-pound maximum capacity with 213 feet of jib. Specifically on the jobsite, the MDT 489 is configured with 164 feet of jib, which has 24,000 pounds at the tip. The MDT 219 has 148 feet of jib with 9,600 pounds at the tip.

This new building is positioned in the direct flight path of a local airport, which required the MDT 489 to be built with the maximum K800 freestanding height of 232 feet with 164 feet of jib. The lower crane on this job, the MDT 219, was also chosen as the best crane for the job given the freestanding height required for the building transitioning from larger K600 to K400 tower producing a hook height that was feasible for both the 489 and 219.

Considering the zero-lot line property with buildings on each side, a two-way road to the front and railroad tracks on the back, planning effective assembly and dismantle of the tower cranes was essential. First, the MDT 489 was erected from the two-way road by a new 500-ton capacity Tadano all-terrain crane with a lattice jib.

The lighter component weights and opportunity for the MDT 219 to be assembled one jib section at a time, the MDT 489 erected the MDT 219 in the further corner of the jobsite (the side by the railroad tracks). The opportunity for the MDT 489 to erect and dismantle the MDT 219 on this jobsite further drove jobsite efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Both tower cranes on this job have the automatic 2-part to 4-part trolley to allow the operator to easily switch parts of line from operator’s cab. This offers increased jobsite flexibility without downtime.

Rising up in Santa Monica

In partnership with Related California, Finnco was selected as the tower crane provider for two residential mixed-use buildings in the heart of the beautiful beach city of Santa Monica, CA. Just steps away from the world-famous Santa Monica Pier, two residential buildings are under construction – one six-story and one eight-story building with a market/retail foundation. This project incepted in September 2022 with two tower cranes on site. With multiple tower cranes to work around, Finnco Services had to meticulously plan logistics accordingly for both tower cranes in operation. “Throughout the careful and operational planning with our teams, we set two tower cranes in the base of the foundation to final height,” said Matt Finnerty, owner of Finnco.

Finnco’s two Wolffkran tower cranes are working with two other tower cranes at a jobsite that is just steps away from the famous Santa Monica Pier.

This project came with challenges along the way which included erecting tower cranes within a current residential space, working with the city of Santa Monica in permitting, and working with Wolffkran to plan effective execution of two tower cranes in operations. Each crane, the Wolff 8033 US and Wolff 7534 US, was selected with the project in mind, ensuring the capacity needed to pick concrete, rebar and steel to the operators operating the tower cranes.

Finnco Services, a leader in the tower crane and manlift industry, and has surpassed project expectations as the building progresses, Finnerty said.

“While working in the mixed-use building sector, these buildings are paving the way for the next level of residential living,” he said. “Mixed-use buildings like these are the new wave of building construction that integrates the functionality of residential and ease of retail accessibility.”

Precision lifting in Vancouver

In the dynamic landscape of construction, partnerships play a crucial role in driving innovation and excellence. The recent collaboration between JASO Tower Cranes and Allied Crane in Vancouver, British Columbia exemplifies the power of synergy. The University of British Columbia (UBC) embarked on the construction of a new home for the Schools of Nursing and Kinesiology in Vancouver with Allied Crane supplying two JASO Tower Cranes for the project.

Allied Crane supplied a JASO J560 and a JASO J300 on a project in Vancouver that involves the construction of the Schools of Nursing and Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia.

The installation of a JASO J560 and a JASO J300 at the UBC construction site marked the beginning of a challenging endeavor. Tasked with erecting an innovative precast wood and concrete structure weighing 12 tons, the project demanded precision and control at a micro-level. The JASO J560 and J300 tower cranes rose to the occasion, offering unparalleled performance that enabled UBC to overcome the technical challenges with ease, according to Vinny Ficetola, sales manager at Allied Crane.

Ficetola pointed to the responsiveness of JASO’s micro-speed feature, crucial for navigating the intricacies of the construction method required.

“Walking the jib of the J560 and J300 is a reassuring experience,” he said, “further underscoring the reliability and ease of serviceability of these cranes.”

The UBC project showcases the importance of local manufacturing and sustainable practices. The precast modules, manufactured locally in Maple Ridge, Canada, underscore the commitment to environmental stewardship and regional economic growth. The project minimizes carbon emissions associated with transportation.

Star students

The ALL family of Companies is using two new Potain IGO TT 99s for building a new student housing complex on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The allure of the new Potain IGO T 99 tower crane isn’t so much its height – the greatest hook height among the two T 99s on campus will be just 119 feet – but rather its reach and transportability, according to ALL Erection.

Two Potain Igo T 99 units are increasing productivity on a student housing project at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus.

“These cranes are well-suited for medium-sized commercial projects where space is a factor,” said Leroy Kane, sales representative with Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, a member of the ALL Family of Companies. “They are virtually a necessity for working on today’s wide-ranging multi-family and mixed-use projects.”

The residence hall site fit the bill. The entire west side of the building’s footprint is only feet from the property line, as well as a swamp. This limits crane placement to the east side of the expansive site.

Construction on the four-story, 100,000-square-foot facility was helmed by Immel Construction, Dawes’ customer on the project.

“The overall length of the building required both the north and south portions to be worked on at the same time,” said Kane. “Having both T 99 towers on site allowed for the necessary swing radii and schedule requirements.”

The versatile telescopic self-erecting tower crane has a 6.6-ton capacity, 157-foot reach and 126-foot height under hook. Its compact transport dimensions and innovative unfolding procedure make it easy to deliver to jobsites and erect in tight quarters, Kane said.


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