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Baseball Stadium

Situation:

A new baseball stadium is under construction on part of the 42-acre Orange Bowl site in Miami. Because Southern Florida weather conditions can vary drastically during the baseball season, the project team designed a facility that would provide fans with a comfortable environment regardless of weather. In addition to 37,000 seats and a natural-grass playing field, the new facility features a retractable roof. Fans will be able to watch baseball in air-conditioned comfort or under the stars, depending on the weather.

Challenge:

The facility’s retractable roof weighs 6,814 tons and is constructed on 12 2,000,000-pound steel trusses that are designed to carry five roof partitions on a rail system 300 feet above the stadium. L.P.R. Construction of Loveland, Colorado, was the steel erector for the operable roof portion of the project. Their responsibilities include building the retractable roof and placing it onto a rail system.

The construction team considered using a crane to lift the trusses into place, but prevailing winds of up to 30 mph in the area posed a safety hazard. Instead, the team chose a unified jacking system to lift each truss four inches and then slide it eight feet into its final position on the rail.

Solution:

L.P.R. researched solution providers with the expertise needed and selected Modern Hydraulics of West Chicago, Illinois. Modern Hydraulics created a special long-stroke four-jack unified jacking system in conjunction with SPX. This system utilizes four 100-ton double-acting Power Team brand cylinders. According to the Modern Hydraulics team, they partnered with SPX for their Power Team brand unified jacking systems for two key reasons:

  • They find that SPX equipment, which is manufactured in the USA, provides longer, more reliable service due to superior design and quality. The equipment also delivers stronger, smoother lifting performance, which is critical when lifting 2,000,000-pound trusses 300 feet above the ground.
  • They find working with SPX engineering staff to be simple and straightforward, leading to better communications, quicker reaction time and superior results. According to Lance Renshaw, president of Modern Hydraulics, “they listen, react faster and produce a better quality component than their competitors, who rely on off-shore manufacturing.”

Process:

A 2,000,000 -pound pre-loaded steel truss was constructed 300 feet above the stadium floor. The Power Team unified jacking system was used to lift and slide the truss into position on the rail, while maintaining the pre-loaded condition of the truss. It took more than a year to build the steel trusses and move them into position.

Result:

L.P.R. discovered this lifting system worked better than expected and was able to move all 12 steel trusses into place in half the allotted time. As an additional benefit, they can reuse this lifting equipment on other projects across North America because of its high quality and portable, flexible design. The baseball stadium is on schedule to open for the 2012 baseball season.