Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Now It Can Be Told, Part Two

What does it take to move a sculpture that towers almost 14 feet in the air (And weighs 7100 pounds) from the parking lot where it was assembled to the bayfront for display? A lot of work and a little bit of luck. A mobile crane had to lift the unit not once but twice to get it onto a waiting truck. Turns out that the truck couldn't wind it's way into the lot where the assembly took place, and the weight of the piece prohibited the crane from moving it too far in one pass. So the second move got it onto the trailer.

Even though our shop is in an industrial park, it's not designed for easy truck access. We scraped against trees on both sides on the way out and had to pick plenty of leaves out of the unit later on.

Getting the unit on the trailer was only the first step. Then it had to be driven nine miles down the road while looking for low-hanging wires and traffic lights, driving at a leisurely 20 miles per hour or less. We had a guy in the cab of the truck ready to jump out at any sign of trouble and lift any low-hanging wires that might prove a problem. But luckily the route was scouted out well enough that we didn't encounter any problems. The driver did make sure and try to drive in-between lights, just in case. There are a couple of lifting eyes that stick out the top of the unit that would have done some serious damage to any traffic lights that happened to get in the way. Those lifting eyes were supposed to make it easier to move the unit, but after all the assembly work was said and done, nobody trusted them to support the weight of the piece, so we wound up running straps around the whole thing whenever it got lifted.

About halfway through the trip, I realized that we would drive right by the artist's previous sculpture of a similar design. So we drove on ahead and scouted out a good spot to get both works in the same shot. Look close to the right side of the picture above and you can see a similar white cube, only this time with a red interior. That earlier version could fit inside this new one.

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