The CorvidEYE

Size matters

The Blue Lake dam construction crane towers above the Beaver Lake muskegs. (Bill Foster photo)


The biggest construction crane in Alaska is now assembled and operating at Sitka’s Blue Lake dam. And the public will be able to take a look this month. According to Jessica Stockel, with the contractor McMillen LLC, the crane itself weighs about 2-million pounds. It has an overall length of 364-feet. The main boom can lift and lower 47,500 pounds. In order to carry that load across the canyon, the crane has 660,000 pounds of counter-weight.

Follow the progress of the Blue Lake Dam Expansion project on Facebook. There is a lot of information, including some images of the original construction project in 1958.

The crane is easily visible from the trail around Beaver Lake, which will remain open during construction. Stockel says McMillen is also going to offer the first of several public tours of the project on Sunday March 17, departing in buses from Harrigan Centennial Hall.

Listen to Dean Orbison’s presentation to the Sitka Chamber of Commerce on February 13, 2013, when he outlined the scope of the Blue Lake Hydro expansion project.

Listen to iFriendly audio.

View Orbison’s slides while you listen.

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