SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Work has started to construct the massive crane that will be used for the Carrier Dome roof project.
The 1,100-ton crane has a boom arm of about 580 feet, making it one of the biggest in the United States.
Early Tuesday morning, tractor trailers rolled in to Syracuse and to the SU Hill with some of the key pieces of this colossal crane.
The trucks were carrying the enormous tracks the crane will sit on, along with the gigantic cab the operator will use to run the machine.
The crane will be used to pick up and hoist the steel trusses to the top of the dome that will hold the new roof.
Carrier Dome Managing Director Pete Sala says, “The crane is sensored from Germany, from the factory. They can watch every pick that we make via satellite, GPS.”
The company renting out the crane will also have someone on-site watching everything that goes on with this mighty machine, which itself will take about three weeks to build.
Sala tells NewsChannel 9, “People need to understand that there’s going to be some processes that were going to go through that we’re going to talk about. There’s this process called knuckling down if it’s windy over 38 miles an hour, so there’s so much involved with just that one big crane.”
He says they had to build up and reinforce the west side of The Dome to create a pad the crane will sit on for the next five months.
“What fans will see are different entry points into the building, maybe a different look, so that set of stairs that used to go down to the guard shack no longer exists,” near Gate B Sala explains.
The walkway from Irving Avenue and the stairs that lead you to Gate C of The Dome are still intact so he says the majority of students will use this walkway to get from the Law School at Dineen Hall up to the Carrier Dome and then on to the main campus.
That same path will also be used by many fans that are coming to Dome events so they can enter via Gate C.
Visiting teams will use this same path to get to their locker rooms on the west side of The Dome.
“The schedule is really, really tight. There really is no wiggle room in the schedule,” Sala tells NewsChannel 9.
The trusses should be in place sometime in January. The new roof is expected to be in place around this time next year.
The first game under the new roof is slated for September 19, 2020, when the Orange Football team hosts Colgate.
For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9