Raising the Roof – Rogers Place Box Truss Lift

On Monday, June 1, PCL raised the centre box truss that completed the first piece of steel spanning the arena’s roof. We spoke to Canam Superintendent Dan Isbell about the critical lift.

1) What kind of buildings/projects have you worked on?

I was part of the Denver International Airport, AT&T Center where the San Antonio Spurs play, American Airlines Center in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. I’ve worked on ball parks, football stadiums, etc.

2) Can you explain the lift?

Basically we lifted and set the centre section of the truss that ties from one side of the arena bowl to the other side. The weight on the centre section was 226,000 pounds and combined all the way across the arena, the truss weighs a little over 800,000 pounds.

3) What was the planning involved to get to this point?

This plan started a year and a half ago when the project was being put together and all the critical lifts for the project were identified. We had to go through assembling the truss and once we got it assembled, got it bolted and tightened, then we had to pick it up, weigh it with the computer on the crane and then we started the process of lifting it and setting it in place.

4) What’s the importance of the lift and what is the truss used for?

This lift today is the first truss that goes across from side-to-side of the bowl and it holds the radial trusses that go on the fan on the backside of the west side of the bowl. Then we also have the interior centre trusses that make up the first portion of the roof.

5) From your perspective, what’s unique about building an arena?

Well, it’s the logistics of putting this thing together. If you notice we don’t have much room in the bowl, we have a little bit over a hockey arena rink space to work in and we have all this material from here (the ground) up to the roof, so logistically it can be a nightmare.

6) What type of safety measures are in place for a significant lift like this?

Well, in the pre-lift meeting they talk about positioning the crane, positioning of the workers – where each person is going to be. Each person has a position to work in and what to watch out for and if they see anything that draws their attention that may be unsafe then they must notify the guys on the radio. There’s someone on each end with a radio and up top, plus the workers in the bowl that have a radio and they’re all communicating all the time with the operator.