Construction of new Bucks arena underway


Mortenson is constructing the new Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center in Milwaukee with the help of five Manitowoc crawler cranes.

Two Manitowoc 16000s, owned and operated by Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, assisted with some of the project’s most important lifts: the 60-ton roof trusses. The 16000s were set up with a unique configuration typically reserved for building wind turbines.

Construction of the Milwaukee Bucks’ new US$524m, multipurpose arena is underway, and a fleet of Manitowoc crawler cranes is handling its most crucial lifting work. Dubbed the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, the arena will replace the aging Bradley Center as the Bucks’ home.

Mortenson Construction is managing the lifting plans on the jobsite, and the company has employed a number of Manitowoc crawler cranes since construction started in November of 2016. Two Manitowoc 999s were used to lift all the arena’s structural steel segments, with the heaviest being a 6-ton cantilever beam that was lifted to a height of 125ft.

In May, Dawes Rigging & Crane Rental, a member of the ALL family of companies, provided two Manitowoc 16000 crawler cranes to the jobsite. Both 440-ton crawlers were configured with 244ft of boom to lift 60-ton roof trusses to a height of 125ft.

Brennan Seeliger, product manager for crawler cranes at Manitowoc, said that the 16000s used for this job were set up with an extended upper boom point, a configuration typically reserved for building wind turbines.

“Generally, crane operators will use this configuration to achieve added clearance between the boom system and the lifted load when lifting at a high boom angle,” Seeliger explained. “It’s not common outside of wind applications, but contractors in certain pockets, such as stadium construction, have found a use for it. It often results in fewer necessary components and quicker assembly times.”

Operators also used a Manitowoc 14000 – again provided by Dawes – to lift 20.5-ton precast segments. All three cranes worked in close proximity at the center of the arena’s bowl and had to work in shifts as a result — the dual 16000s lifted trusses daily until 4:00pm when the 14000 took over.

Ryan Olsen, safety manager for Mortenson, said the Manitowoc cranes brought ideal capacities from compact footprints, enabling the contracting team to seamlessly coordinate lifts.

“The main challenges on this job were the tight project site and, more specifically, the confined space in the arena’s center, so identifying the right cranes for the project was critical,” he said.

“A significant amount of coordination was involved since we couldn’t run all of the cranes at the same time. Plus, we had to assemble all roof truss components on the ground before lifting.

“We needed cranes that could deliver the necessary capacity and mobility to execute our lift plans, and these Manitowoc crawlers did not disappoint.”

August 16, 2017

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