March 2015

Local 14 Constructs Highest Construction Crane in the World

Ironworkers are known for the “Big Stuff” they erect—skyscrapers defining cityscapes and massive bridges spanning our waterways and ravines. However, the formation of the high iron also requires extremely delicate and detailed work in the form of precision welding—yes, also performed by these same skilled workers who demonstrate the yin and yang of the construction industry.

Lampson International and Local 14 (Spokane, Wash.) in the Tri-Cities of Washington state have now taken the “Big Stuff” category to a whole new height, erecting the highest construction crane in the entire world. Extending over 800 feet in the air (the height of a 70-story building), the Lampson Transi-Lift Model LTL-3000 weighs 725 million pounds, utilizes up to eight miles of wire rope and can lift six million tons in its strongest configuration. At its fullest extension, aviation lights at its tip are required by the Federal Aviation Agency to protect local air traffic. Engineered, fabricated and erected at Lampson’s Pasco and Kennewick facilities, the construction project took 18 months to complete. The crane’s intricate framework is comprised of uniquely designed and specially made parts, which were cut, machined and welded by local skilled ironworkers.

This monumental project showcases a strong and valued partnership between Local 14 and Lampson International. Throughout the year-and-a-half construction process, CEO Bill Lampson and the crew of ironworkers would confer daily to ensure quality control and safety. Lampson’s shop foreman, Dustin Hornbeck, stresses the necessity to “do it right, do it once and work safely all day.” Lampson Director of Safety Bruce Stemp adds, “Lampson is committed to providing a safe work environment for all our employees whether in manufacturing facilities or out in the field. We often face unusual conditions but we are diligent in identifying and mitigating all risks.”

Lampson International began business in the Tri-Cities in 1946 and has expanded its offices to Seattle, Boise, Denver, Phoenix, Houston, Honolulu, Los Angeles, as well as Canada and Australia. Bill Lampson stresses a key to the firm’s success has been its long-standing relationship with local ironworkers extending more than 65 years. “We have benefitted from a long and valued relationship with Local 14 ironworkers, who bring their values of hard work, skill and dedication into the shop every day. You’ll find these people are very proud of their work and always do a fine job for us,” Lampson said.

The crane has undergone rigorous testing and is now ready to go to work on many applications including power plant construction, dam construction, refinery work, bridge construction and infrastructure projects as well as sports facilities and stadiums and manufacturing plants.