550-ton crane wraps up work at Bell Bank complex downtown

Construction workers said they've never seen a machine this big on a project in the FM area.

This 550-ton crane is coming down after a five-week stay at the new Bell Bank complex on Main Avenue in Fargo. The crane used 551,000 pounds of counterweights during the moving of pre-cast slabs for the new level of a parking ramp.
Kevin Wallevand / WDAY News

FARGO — People have returned to the site, daily, watching and listening to a gigantic crane at work at the future headquarters of Bell Bank on Main Avenue in Fargo.

Construction workers said they've never seen a machine this big on a project in the FM area.

But on Monday, May 22, crews began to dismantle the huge crane. Its job is done.

Some of the crane's biggest fans were also some of the littlest. Toddlers from the Fercho YMCA. And why not?

Vic's Crane and Heavy Haul brought the crane in for the last four weeks to help hoist and put in place pre-cast concrete sections for the extra level on the parking ramp near the new Bell Bank building under construction off Main Avenue.


"It is a big presence on the skyline, so people are curious and they want to come down and see it. When you get up close, it is a massive machine," said Al Gilbertson of Vic's Crane.

Weighing in at 550 tons, the crane is as big and heavy as cranes get and it had to be this tall in order to get those 54,000-pound concrete slabs from near the YMCA over to the north side of the ramp on to Main Avenue.

In order to do this it took tons of counter weights. To accomplish this, there is a wagon and gigantic weights stacked on the back.

"We had 551,000 pounds of counterweight in addition to the (counterweight on the) crane," Gilbertson said.

Once sections of the crane are loaded up the work is just beginning. Eventually they will jack up the car body of the crane, use a crane to remove the tracks, and load the entire body for the next trip.

The crew dismantling the crane on Monday had plenty of cable to roll up and it likely is the best workout plan out there.

"Minimum 3,300 feet (of cable)," Gilbertson said.

With pre-cast lifting finished, smaller cranes will do the rest of the work at Bell Bank.


The skyline will miss Vic's Crane. On its last night in the air, the sun was setting perfectly in its boom.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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