On Wednesday, Columbus Crew SC commenced the next major phase of development at the site of the Club's new Downtown Stadium by erecting the first steel beam in recognition of all frontline workers who continue to push forward during this time.
The first beam, labeled with an #InThisTogetherOhio decal and signed by members of the Crew's Front Office, is over 23 feet long and weighs 1.7 tons, and was erected in the Southeast corner of the stadium at pitch level.
The beam marks the start of the first sequence of steel to be brought in to Columbus and erected. The first sequence involved five truckloads worth of steel, with more to come over the ensuing months.
All of the steel material is domestically sourced, while the fabrication is occurring in three locations through the U.S.: Bellevue, Ohio, Charlotte, N.C., and Dublin, Ga. The steel fabrication itself is estimated to take 113,610 manhours.
A dedicated crane for steel erection on the south and east side of the stadium was built on-site over the course of two days, with another crane set to be built and service the north and west sides as construction continues from the inside-out.
As many as 50 beams are able to be placed in a day, though the higher the beams are placed - such as in the canopy - the longer it takes.
The total tonnage for the stadium is 5,410 tons, which equates to approximately 18 Boeing 747 airplanes, with the stadium's 360-degree canopy system utilizing 42 percent of the total tonnage.
The steel erection is estimated to take approximately 168,000 manhours, with over 68,000 bolts used to secure the beams.
As each beam is placed, it's done as straight and flush as possible, but it cannot be completely settled until every piece is erected. Once all the steel is laid out, a separate group of workers will come to tighten bolts and weld the steel to ensure everything is plum. The steel frame will be completed later this year, followed by the canopy's completion closer to late fall.
Over the past few months, curious bystanders have seen a lot of work going into the ground. Now, with the first steel beam erected, we will start to see the outward expansion of the stadium quickly take shape starting with the south side, while the Nordecke structural steel erection is targeted for August.