Published on January 24, 2020

First of three cranes arrive for Essentia Health’s Vision Northland project

Vision Northland construction site in downtown Duluth Minnesota.

As blasting and rock excavation winds down on Essentia Health’s $800 million Vision Northland project, an exciting new addition is coming to the construction site.

On Monday, Jan. 27, crews will begin erecting the first of three large tower cranes that will be used to lift and lower materials, such as steel and mechanical equipment. Located just off Superior Street, this initial 281-ton crane will stand 250 feet above Superior Street and feature a swing 170-foot radius.

The other two cranes will arrive in late March and early April. The tallest crane — rising 461 feet above Superior Street, with a radius of 265 feet — will reside on the corner of First Street and Fourth Avenue East. The other — 404 feet above Superior Street, with a radius of 169 feet — will be located on Second Street, between Fourth and Fifth Avenues East. Both will be 550-ton tower cranes and have a capacity of hoisting more than 40,000 pounds.

The cranes signal a change in focus for a project that will transform Essentia’s downtown Duluth medical campus. Tearing down, or demolition, is giving way to building up. Construction started in earnest last fall. Foundations for the new hospital tower are expected to be complete this spring.

“It’s exciting to see the first of three tower cranes be erected for the Vision Northland project,” said Mark Hayward, senior vice president of operations at Essentia Health. “This represents a very visible sign of the great progress made to date and moving into the next phase of construction where we will start to see the structure take shape. Thanks to our many partners who are working with us on Vision Northland.”

The first shipment of structural steel will arrive in early April.

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