First Steel Truss is Installed

First TrussHow do you get a 50-ton truss to the top of the Kauffman Center roof? With a really strong crane that can reach across the concrete base of the center and an experienced crew of steel installers carefully guiding it into place.

That’s why there’s a new crane in town. And it went to work on March 11, hoisting the first gigantic steel truss to the top of the Concert Hall. And while the center needs a roof for the obvious reasons, this part of the steel installation takes an important step toward completing the acoustic enclosure that will ensure great arts experiences.

The Kauffman Center construction site acquired a third large crane in early March. This bright red, white, and blue Demag 1800 is classified as a “600 ton crane” and was needed for several reasons.

“This crane has the ability to do “╦ťpicks’ of 90 tons, which is required by the Kauffman Center specifications,” according to Kyle McQuiston, project executive for JE Dunn Construction. A “pick” refers to a load that is picked up, then maneuvered into place by the crane. “Plus this crane has the ability to reach out far enough, with that size load, to place the truss above the large concrete structure below,” McQuiston explains.

First TrussThe first steel truss took just under an hour to lift into place above the Concert Hall. The trusses themselves are too large to be trucked in, so workers first must assemble and weld them together on site. The largest truss to be installed weighs 90 tons.

In order to reach everywhere that this crane’s special capacities are required, it will be moved three times during this phase of steel installation (to both the south and north sides of each hall). The two tower cranes currently on site cannot handle loads of this magnitude, but are required to assist the large mobile crane with connection pieces.

This new crane arrived with its own operator and will be on site for several months. “The project has the most detailed hoisting plan I’ve seen in 25 years of construction projects,” says McQuiston, as he points to a very large document on his desk. In addition, moving the crane is a major project, taking a week to ten days, as the crane must be dismantled in order to be relocated.

Construction rubberneckers on the street downtown will have a great time watching this crane do its work if the hoisting of the first truss is any indication. Even seasoned construction workers on site took time to watch the crane gingerly and precisely place tons of steel up on the roof.