They blocked the road around mid-night and dropped off all the parts. The crew arrived around 4am and started working, with the aid of a little crane that is about 4 stories tall. By 8am, you realized if it is longer than a block. Up close, I appreciated its sheer size. The thickest portion (in blue, lower leg) is about 6-foot across. When laid flat, a brawny worker, hard hat and boots, can fit comfortably. The base of the crane has layers of solid steel slabs, must weigh tons. Muscular struts of pressed on the asphalts protecting sheets of plywood. Around 8pm, the crane stood up and started to move, agonizingly slowly. Army of workers lay plywood in its path. The crane crawled a few feet and wait for the plywood sheets to be put into the right place. At about 2am, the crane has moved sufficiently away for the road to open again. All workers went home then.
Next Monday, it inched onto the final perch. The highest point of the crane is about level with my balcony. We can see its motion better than anyone, including the crew. They told me that this is only the demolition crane whose job is to clear and prepare the construction site. Once that’s done, a real tower crane will erect the building. Yes, I will have a front-row seat for the construction of a 41-story hotel complex.
There are more than 100 construction projects in downtown Seattle now — the highest since 2005. In the first six months of 2015, 20 projects broke ground and 24 finished. With 36 projects projected for completion by the end of the year, Downtown Seattle is on track to see the largest number of completed projects in the past decade. I have not seen such active construction since the pre-Olympic days of Beijing.
Like all changes, the emotional reactions are mixed. There are always those who brace the new and those who mourn the lost of the old. Then there are people like me who is just trying to enjoy the show and the ride. Yes, pour me another beer.