The 300-foot Crane Nesting on the Circle This Summer

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In case you missed it, a huge construction crane landed on the Monument this spring. And unlike the pigeons, it’s not willing to share the steps with the lunch crowd.  We were still sleeping on the morning of March 19 when 16 trucks drove the 500,000-pound monster onto the west side of the Circle and fenced it off. But no one around here has slept much since. Between the roar of the engines and the occasional banging of the hook against the bronze Victory statue it removed from the Monument over the weekend for repairs, the area has sounded like, well, a major construction zone.

“Luckily, it’s not as loud on the inside as it is on the outside,” says Perry Bruce, the crane foreman who has operated models like this for 28 years. “And it’s easier to drive than you think. I wouldn’t say it’s agile, but the modern ones are a lot easier to maneuver than the old ones you had to manhandle.”

The 500-horsepower crane hails from R.H. Marlin, one of the nation’s largest crane rental companies, which just happens to reside on the south side of Indy. It can lift about 32,500 pounds—powerful, although surprisingly, not even close to the 600-ton capable models they have. And while the first part of its job is done, it isn’t going anywhere just yet. As metalworkers recast the joints of the bronze statue, originally installed in pieces, the giant red crane will continue to assist masonry workers at the site.

Thankfully, this bird is migratory. By October 30, it will return Victory to her rightful place and head home. Anyone for lunch on the Circle on November 1?

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