Thursday, July 14, 2011


Last year we saw the demolition and removal of the rotunda and ophidian entrance ramp leading up to the second floor of the glass enclosure around the Carnegie Quarry. Those features will not be replaced but we wanted to retain the dramatic experience of entering the building and suddenly seeing, all at once, the entire sandstone face and its 1500 dinosaur bones.  So the second floor entrance has been retained but will be accomplished in a different way.  A wide sidewalk will lead visitors to the far west end of the building where they will then go up a 150 foot long ramp that rises from ground level to the second floor at the east end of the building.

The sidewalk and steel framework for the ramp has been in place for some time. We recently completed this project by putting in precast concrete slabs. The slabs weighed between 10,000 - 20,000 pounds apiece, so this was a task requiring both heavy equipment and a delicate touch.

The slabs arrived on a number of flatbed trucks with several slabs on each. They were made near Tooele Utah, some 200+ miles and several mountain passes away. After getting the slabs to the QVC the first challenge was to turn the flatbed around and back it into a narrow space on the south side of the building, between the newly installed bathrooms and the sidewalks. This is no mean task because with all the various projects currently underway at the Quarry, the parking lot is crowded and space is at a premium. So this was a tricky bit of driving.

Once the truck was in place a large crane, with a lifting capacity of 70,000+ pounds, swung its arm over the trucks.

Chains at the end of the crane’s cable were attached to the four corners of each slab.

Once in place, each slab was lifted up and swung northwards to the ramp framework.

Then the slab was gently swung over the framework then slowly lowered, pushed, and guided into place.

Once the slab was in in place the chains were detached and the arm swung back to the get the next slab.

Metal connectors built into each slab are then welded to the steel framework.

Eventually all the slabs were in-place and attached. The double doors have been installed where the ramp joins the building. In a few months they will be swung open to let visitors once again gaze upon the Jurassic rocks and bones of the Carnegie Quarry.

Photos: NPS

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