Towering Above the Kansas Capitol

JE Dunn Construction Company, the twelfth largest general building contractor in the U.S., is managing the Kansas Statehouse Exterior Masonry Restoration project, in Topeka. This project, with a $36 million budget and a 4-year length, had a big challenge: create good material hoisting access to all sides of the drum that supports the dome.

The Capitol's cruciform floor plan, the presence of other structures of the complex around the building, an aggressive working schedule and the expenses of requiring multiple crawler cranes were a big challenge for the managers.

The best logistic solution has been a 21 LC 400 tower crane from Linden Comansa. It has been erected with a height under hook of 340 ft., and a jib length of 262 ft., allowing the operators to reach every spot of the jobsite, and to move the jib over the statue -- a Native American archer from the Kansa tribe -- that tops the dome at a height of 304 ft.

To achieve such an impressive height without tying the crane to any other structure, a special configuration of the tower was designed: nine 13-ft.-wide sections, one transition section and another nine 8-ft.-wide sections. Blake Graham, project manager with JE Dunn, has been informed that it is currently the tallest freestanding tower crane in North America.

Since the beginning of September, the crane, with 39,683 lbs. of maximum load and a Flat-Top design, has been hard at work transporting materials required for the restoration around the perimeter of the dome. The exterior masonry project includes stone stabilization, crack repair, dutchman repairs, hand carving and others.

The 21 LC 400 crane, which will work for about a year on this project, has been part of JE Dunn's fleet since 2006, and was sold by Linden Comansa America, subsidiary of Spanish manufacturer Linden Comansa.