By the Numbers
- 55 Number of tower cranes currently operating in downtown Seattle.
- 100ish Tower cranes operating statewide.
- 180,000 pounds The max weight that can be lifted by the tower crane working on the Sound Transit tunnels in Northgate, which is also the world’s highest-capacity crane.
- 65% Increase in tower cranes operating downtown since July 2015.
- 700 Feet The tallest tower crane in downtown Seattle, used to construct the Mark, a 44-floor skyscraper on Fifth Avenue and Columbia Street.
How do they weather storms?
The jib is left to swivel freely at all times in case a storm or a strong wind rolls in, reducing stress on the entire structure.
Do they ever fall?
In November 2006, a tower crane damaged three buildings, injured a crane operator, and killed a 31-year-old resident after it toppled nearly 200 feet into an apartment building in Bellevue.
How do they get taller?
Tower cranes "grow" through a process called jumping.
Step 1: The jib picks up a new mast section, reels it up, and situates it beside the cab.
Step 2: Hydraulic arms raise the area below the cab, called the collar, 20 feet.
Step 3: The new section is inserted into the gap and bolted into place.