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Giving the Minneapolis Public Service Building a Lift

This fall, a new City of Minneapolis Public Service Building is slated to open downtown, at 505 Fourth Ave. S. Recently, Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul joined forces with Mortenson Construction and Modern Piping to give the project a boost. The job involved lifting three chiller pumps to the 10th floor of the building and then positioning them so they would be ready for use.

Each chiller pump weighed approximately 25,000 pounds and was moved with a 350-ton crane in a luffing jib configuration. Once the units were set down through a roof opening, they were moved 70 feet across the floor via a slide track system into their final position. The lift required only four days to complete but involved some complicated preparation. Preplanning included creating specific engineered drawings that illustrated the capabilities and clearances needed to perform the work within the specific safety requirements of the site.

Once on the job site, Vic’s crew faced the challenges of performing a lift in crowded urban area. Space downtown is already limited, but this lift had even less space to maneuver due to light rail tracks bordering one side of the building and the project’s loading dock on the other side. Additionally, a tower crane was installing glass panels on the building at the same time Vic’s was lifting the chiller pumps. It took constant communication and scheduling flexibility between the two cranes to complete the jobs in tandem. Despite all these challenges, Vic’s staff members were able to safely make the lift on schedule.

The Public Service Building will include City spaces to deliver services to the public, offices for City employees and a rooftop garden. The building also plans to feature bird-safe glass windows, a public art collection and LEED Gold Certification.