Hotel crane is City's biggest

It looks even bigger Saturday in the afternoon light.

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According to city spokesperson Ric Barrick, this crane that just went up over the Landmark Hotel construction site on the Downtown Mall is the biggest one ever involved in a Charlottesville construction. Naturally, with the news of the collapsing cranes in New York still fresh in our minds, we wondered... is it safe?

"Our understanding is that the cranes that have had problems in New York were not free standing as this one is," says Barrick. "They attached to a building and the collapses, according to the hotel contractor, happened when they were adding parts or taking away parts, an operation not required with the different type of crane involved with the Landmark."

Barrick says the big crane will be certified by the contractor today, and that an independent firm will inspect the crane next Monday and again in three months.


So I drove down Water Street the other day right under the weighted counter-balance...without a hard hat. It was unsettling. Reassurances by the Truth Minister don't reassure. "The biggest one ever" sounds like speculation to sound good in the press. What's the second biggest crane? Trust them. The actual certificate will prevent the crane from blowing over in a summer thunderstorm. But if it does topple, simply hold a copy of the safety certification over your head. It will protect you from injury. Why don't they build a service elevator tower and then build out like most buildings?

It would make the village so "big city" if it would topple.

Next headline: Small City Paper Runs out of Story Ideas, Forced to Go with Story of Big Crane

Sorry Hook....couldn't resist.

"Why don't they build a service elevator tower and then build out like most buildings?" Probably a cost issue. Renting a tower crane costs $50k++ for installation and $15k++/month. Buying one is a lot more expensive - much more expensive than the cost to build an elevator shaft while constructing the rest of the building.

I want to see an example of a "service elevator" building. I'd imagine taking steel beams up an elevator isn't exactly possible.

Also, don't forget we're talking about a private company and not the city building this building. They aren't wasting money for no reason.