Potain reaches across Chicago River for Wolf Point
A Potain MD 485 B M20 tower crane is constructing new housing along the Chicago riverfront, building a 50-story apartment tower dubbed Wolf Point West. The job is unique, with much of the building’s framework needing to be lifted and placed over the river’s flowing waters where its north and south branches meet.
A joint venture that includes Chicago, Illinois-based McHugh Construction Co. and Clark Construction Group – Chicago, LLC. – is in charge of the construction. The MD 485 B, which arrived in June of last year, was needed for its reach and capacity, explained Patrick McGarvey, project manager for McHugh.
“This is a very difficult and extensive project that spans the Chicago River,” he said. “The reach of the MD 485 B M20’s 262.5 ft jib was needed for the challenging task of laying the formwork out over the water.”
The tower crane is lifting a variety of materials, such as 50 ft steel columns, table forms, large air handlers, cooling towers, chillers, boilers and steel stairs – essentially if it needs to be lifted for the project, the MD 485 B M20 is handling the work. Some of the lifts weigh up to 13.5 USt, which are easily handled by the crane’s 22 USt capacity.
The Wolf Point project is on a fast-track timetable, with a new floor being added every three days, so the MD 485 B M20’s Optima controls, which provide smooth speed changes and high productivity, are essential to keep the project on pace.
“The MD 485’s four-part line is also very helpful for the magnitude of this project,” McGarvey explained. “We had heavy steel columns that needed to be moved from the truck to the laydown yard, and then placed on the river walk. The crane was critical to getting the steel structure into place.”
McHugh Construction rented the MD485 from Central Contractors Service. Central is part of the ALL Family of Companies, North America’s largest privately held crane rental and sales company, with 37 branches across the United States and Canada.
John Martello, general manager for Central Contractors, with two branches in the Chicagoland area, touted the features of the crane.
“The MD 485 B M20 can hoist 22 USt at a time and move a load up to 735 ft per min – that’s impressive and made this an ideal crane for the job.”
The Potain MD 485 B M20 will be on site until June of 2015. The residential building will be completed in February 2016, providing 500 luxury rental apartments. The LEED certified tower will be accompanied by two other mixed-used buildings at the Wolf Point plaza.
Chicago-based James McHugh Construction Co., founded in 1897, has earned its reputation as a builder of landmark, one-of-a-kind structures. As the city grew, McHugh developed its specialties: high-rise concrete construction and complex, large-scale projects for both the private and public sectors.
Clark Construction Group is one of the nation’s leading general contractors and providers of construction services. Founded in 1906, Clark is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, and has been building in Chicago for the past two decades. The company’s Northern Region has successfully delivered over $5 billion of work, including some of the region’s most prominent landmarks. Clark’s local profile boasts an array of unique projects, including massive convention centers, 60-story skyscrapers, sophisticated laboratories, an extensive military recapitalization, and a professional ballpark.