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400-foot crane to tower over Syracuse as renovations continue on Carrier Dome

Ellen Abbott

There will be a new feature to the Syracuse skyline in the coming weeks. One of the tallest cranes in the country is coming to central New York as part of Syracuse University's renovation of the Carrier Dome.

Credit Syracuse University
Syracuse University
The Carrier Dome's iconic white roof will be replaced with a new fixed roof

The replacement of the dome's roof is arguably the biggest part of the $118 million project to upgrade the dome. A new fixed roof will replace the pillowy white roof that has been part of Syracuse’s skyline for almost 40 years. The groundwork has started, and braces that will support the trusses that are part of the roof are being installed. To help, an 1,100 ton crane, one of the biggest in the country, is headed to Syracuse in bits and pieces.

"It will takes week for us to assemble that crane," said S.U. Vice President and Chief Campus Facilities Officer Pete Sala. "There’s still about 60 tractor trailer loads of crane parts still to show up in Syracuse. It’s about 85 to 87 loads in all. It’s an 1,100 ton crane. A very, very large crane."

Once it’s assembled, it will rise about 400 feet above the dome. Construction will work around this year’s sports seasons, and this phase of project should be done by September of 2020. It will include a new scoreboard, state the art sound systems and improved accessibility.

"We can’t do everything in one year," said Sala. "So it’s just different phases, different approaches, what we can or can’t do at different times, trying to fit things in around schedules, trying to get things done in these three short summer months that we have."

The next round of improvements, including air conditioning, new restrooms and concessions, is expected to be completed by fall of 2022.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.