Manitowoc 18000 builds foundation for Hudson Yards redevelopment project

A Manitowoc 18000 is the primary tool being used to construct the new foundation of the Hudson Yards in New York City.

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A massive and extraordinarily complex construction project is underway in the heart of New York City and a Manitowoc 18000 is doing much of the heavy lifting. The 12-year long Hudson Yards redevelopment project will create a 28 acre mixed-use development consisting of 16 skyscrapers, plus office, residential and retail space.

To start the project, one of the most innovative and intricate foundations the U.S. has ever seen must be constructed. Enter the Manitowoc 18000 crawler crane, the primary tool being used to construct this foundation – a combination framework and platform that is being built directly over the West Side Yard, a train hub and storage site for the Long Island Railroad and 34th Street subway station.

During the railyard’s initial construction, space was left between the tracks for columns that could support the platform above. Now the Hudson Yards project is making use of these spaces, as the Manitowoc 18000 is placing the columns, girders and other steel components that will comprise a framework on which a platform can be erected. This platform will become the Hudson Yards foundation.

The loads weigh up to 220 USt and require precise placement. The Manitowoc 18000 is sitting on a temporary, reinforced concrete foundation that will be demolished after the crane completes its job. Part of the project involves the installation of caisson cores that weigh up to 80 USt and columns that weight up to 140 USt.  

Tutor Perini, which is based in Sylmar, CA, is the main contractor on the project. It leased the crane from Bridgeville, PA-based Lomma Crane & Rigging. Sal Isola says the company chose the crane for its tremendous capacity, along with its footprint.

“Tutor Perini specifically requested this crane after seeing it construct the Transportation Hub at the new World Trade Center,” Isola explains. “The company needed this kind of capacity, but since space is very limited on the job site, it would not be able to use a counterweight wagon or any auxiliary attachments.”

Employing the Manitowoc 18000 is saving Tutor Perini both time and money, as the lack of a wagon means the company doesn’t need to place crane mats and steel reinforcements on the platform, or need to ship them to the jobsite or handle them. This also keeps the crane mobile because this additional ground prep isn’t needed every time the crane is moved, which happens often on the project.

On site, the crane is rigged with 200-feet of boom and 100-feet of fixed mast. It’s set up with full counterweight: 264 USt of upper counterweight and 160 USt of carbody counterweight. No jibs or attachments are needed on the crane for the project.

The Manitowoc 18000 is one of the most popular crawler cranes for projects that require heavy lifts. It has a 660 USt capacity and 320-foot reach that can be extended to 490 ft. with a luffing jib. This capacity is achieved within a 38 ft. 9 in. by 33 ft. 4 in. footprint.

“The engineers at Tutor Perini knew what the Manitowoc 18000 could do when they chose the crane for the project,” Isola says. “This crane is known for its tremendous capacity by everyone in the industry. We have two of them in our fleet at Lomma that are always being utilized by someone.”

Lomma leased the crane to Tutor Perini in 2014 and construction is due to wrap up on Hudson Yards in 2024. When finished, it will include several skyscrapers, offices, restaurants, cafes, markets, bars, a hotel, a school, 14 acres of public space and 5,000 residences. In all, it’s expected there will be 12,700,000 sq. ft. of new mixed-use space. In February, the Manitowoc 18000 assembled a tower crane that will help construct the first of these spaces.

With offices in Newark, NJ, Bridgeville, PA, Charlotte, NC and New York City, Lomma Crane & Rigging has grown to a prominent lifter since it was established in 1975. The company’s fleet consists of several Grove cranes that range up to 550 USt (499 t) and many Manitowoc crawler cranes that range up to 660 USt (600 t). The company is also a Potain tower crane dealer.

“The overall perception in the crane industry is that Manitowoc makes quality cranes and that their support is second to none. You can get a tech through Manitowoc Crane Care Service 24/7,” Isola says. “To me, it’s the number one crawler crane brand out there with the longevity to prove it.”