911 Artifacts Rigged and Placed In National September 11 Museum
The R. Baker & Son team transported the cross from St. Peter’s Church to the museum after a ceremony attended by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and recovery workers.
September 21, 2011—This summer, prior to the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11
terrorist attacks, R. Baker & Son lowered several
large artifacts from Ground Zero in the National September 11
Memorial Museum (9/11 Memorial
Museum). The museum is scheduled to open in September
The artifact installation was a collective effort with R.Baker, curators, conservators, and the design and construction staff of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
In all, R. Baker, a rigging contractor with offices in
In July, firefighters, family members, and friends of firefighters who died on September 11, 2001 were joined by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano as FDNY's Ladder Company 3 truck and Engine 21 were lowered into the museum by a 350-ton Liebherr LR 1350 operated by Bay Crane. “This represents a final resting place. It was like a burial ceremony for the families,” said Paszkewicz.
Bay Crane's Liebherr LR 1350 lowers Ladder 3
Bay Crane's Liebherr LR 1350 lowers Ladder 3 into the museum.
But preparing for that moment took a lot of planning and
engineering, explained Paszkewicz, “especially considering the condition the
fire trucks were in.” The challenge was in figuring out how to lower the
58,000-pound ladder truck vertically through a narrow opening into the museum 70
feet below ground, then return it to its horizontal position, using only one
crane. Central to the project was Bay Crane Service’s crane operator, whom
Paszkewicz says he hand-picked for the job. Bay Crane, with offices in
The solution to the rigging dilemma was a custom-designed frame for the ladder truck dubbed the Rigging Apparatus for Fire Trucks or RAFT device. The RAFT consists of two main 21-inch diameter beams connected by smaller members. The frame, which measures 11’ wide x 13’ high x 40’ long, provides a structure from which the crane could be rigged. The chassis of the ladder truck is attached inside the frame to keep it secure through the lift. At the low-end of the RAFT, R. Baker designed tailing axles, which were used to pull the truck into a horizontal position with a Versa-Lift 25/35 forklift as it was lowered into the museum. Ideal for material handling in tight quarters, the Versa-Lift 25/35 can lift loads of 25,000 to 35,000 pounds.
Tailing axles are used to maneuver the fire
truck to a horizontal
Tailing axles are used to maneuver the fire truck to a horizontal position.
A similar process was used for the other emergency vehicle artifacts, each with their own custom-designed RAFT. Except for removing any fuel and hydraulic fluids for environmental purposes, the fire trucks have been preserved in the condition they were found, and were protected by shink-wrap during the lifting process.
Among the other artifacts R. Baker has lowered into the
museum are a taxi cab, recovered steel, elevator motors, and a portion of an
antenna from the north tower. The heaviest load weighed 65,000 pounds. In the
coming months, R. Baker will continue to lower more artifacts into the museum as
construction continues on the project.