Crane collapse stalls hotel construction |

Crane collapse stalls hotel construction

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” Construction at the Viceroy Resort Residences has been suspended until initial investigations and certifications deem it safe for the 140 employees on site to return to work, an official said Wednesday.

A crane collapsed at the site Tuesday, hitting a steel beam.

The condominium hotel, scheduled to be finished in early 2010, is part of Base Village, an 80-acre development at the base of the Snowmass Ski Area, currently being constructed by Related WestPac.

Company spokesman Steve Alldredge said he did not know when construction work would resume, but he speculated that the investigations could be completed relatively soon.

“We’ve been led to believe that it’s not going to take many days,” he said.

Construction work at the other Base Village projects has not been delayed by Tuesday’s accident.

One steelworker, employed by subcontractor Pioneer Steel Inc., was injured when he fell from the beam after it was struck by the falling crane. He was wearing a safety harness and was tied off to the beam with a lanyard, but officials speculated that he may have hit his head on the beam.

On Wednesday he remained in stable condition at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, where he was airlifted after the accident. Alldredge reported that the worker was in good spirits Wednesday morning. The victim’s name has not been released.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently completing an investigation at the site, as is Rocky Mountain Precast, owner and operator of the crane, according to Alldredge.

A structural engineer is also on site, examining the damage to the building.

Only three cranes are currently being used in the construction of Base Village, and all are being used at the Viceroy, said Alldredge. One of the other cranes is a Manitowoc 999, a slightly different model than the collapsed Manitowoc 888. The other is a Linkbelt. Both were being inspected Wednesday.

Crane safety has become an issue of concern in the construction industry this year after a high-profile crane collapse in New York City killed seven people. That accident was followed by another collapse in New York City, as well as collapses in Miami, Dallas, and Kansas City, Mo.