seattle cranes

Photo: H. Michael Miley/Flickr

Seattle is home to more construction cranes than any other city in the US, according to Rider Levett Bucknall, a firm that tracks crane counts across the world.

The city’s massive yellow cranes are hard to miss when driving through the city or admiring it from afar. Cranes usually stay up for six to 18 months, depending on the extent of the construction.

As the The Seattle Times reports, Seattle had 58 construction cranes reshaping its skyline this summer, more than New York and San Francisco combined. Seattle’s crane count is also double that of Washington DC, Chicago and Portland, but the city is still behind a few international cities in its crane usage. Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Dubai and Abu Dhabi all have more cranes than Seattle.

Most of the cranes are used for the many tall apartment and condo buildings that are going up in Seattle, but office buildings for Amazon and other companies, as well as hotels, put them to work as well.

The cranes used in Seattle come from all over the country — every time one construction site is done using a crane, the equipment is sent back to the company that supplied it for testing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, finding and renting cranes has become a competitive business. A crane can cost from $15,000 to $55,000 a month, depending on the model.

You don’t have to crane your neck to see that Seattle’s urban landscape is changing.

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