ARLINGTON -- What is big, red and lifts steel? The answer is obvious.A big, red steel-lifter of course, and the mighty Manitowoc 3100 is sitting at home plate in Globe Life Field, ready to put the retractable roof into place. The giant crane, which worked on the roof at Mercedes
ARLINGTON -- What is big, red and lifts steel? The answer is obvious.
A big, red steel-lifter of course, and the mighty Manitowoc 3100 is sitting at home plate in Globe Life Field, ready to put the retractable roof into place. The giant crane, which worked on the roof at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, arrived here the day after Thanksgiving.
The work continues daily at Globe Life Field, which is scheduled to open in 2020. Sometimes the work progresses around the clock, but the Rangers took time out on Wednesday, as manager Chris Woodward and a number of players showed up to help serve a holiday lunch for the construction workers. There are more than 1,000 of them working on the project.
"These are the men and women who are putting this thing together, piece by piece, day by day, sometimes 24 hours a day," Rangers executive vice president of business operations Rob Matwick said.
The Manitowoc 3100 was shipped from Atlanta on 150 trucks and took three weeks to construct, with the help of two smaller cranes. The crane, which weighs 3,000 tons, can lift five million pounds at one time. It went operational last Friday and by the end of January, the 400-foot-high crane will start putting in the trusses that will help hold up the roof at the Rangers' new ballpark.
"That's what we'll be working on for the next year," said Jack Hill, the Rangers senior vice president of project development who is overseeing the project. "Pretty soon, you will be able to see pieces of the roof in place across the field."
The results of 1,000 workers become more obvious by the day. Most of the concrete from the lower bowl has been poured, and it is now possible to walk what will be the main concourse all the way around the park.
With the concrete almost done, the project has transitioned into the steel-construction phase, and much more work is being done above ground over the massive excavation of the lower bowl. Steel beams outline the upper decks, and the towering wall behind left field where glass panels will be installed for a terrific view of the plaza and Texas Live.
"It is starting to feel more what the finished product will look like, and you can visualize it more," Matwick said.
Outside the park, assembly has begun on six of the 20 motors needed to move the roof. Each motor will have six wheels, meaning 120 will be needed to move the 240,000-square-foot roof. It will rise to 230 feet above the playing field and use 19,000 of the 35,000 tons of steel needed for the entire facility.
So far there have been no delays or setbacks with the construction, said Jim Cuddihee, who is supervising the project for Manhattan Construction. Heavy rains in September and October were only a minor annoyance.
"We are right where we want to be for the March 1, 2020, opening," Cuddihee said. "The rain slowed us down in September and October, but we were far enough along with the concrete construction and the steel structure, even if it was raining outside, we could still work inside. As far as the schedule, we are in good shape."
In addition to the lunch at the construction site, the Rangers also held another holiday event at the Texas Rangers Youth Academy in West Dallas on Wednesday. Approximately 125 children served by Buckner International enjoyed a Christmas party hosted by Rangers chief operating officer Neil Leibman and his wife Amy.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.