AUGUSTA — It’s a monolith that rises 5 feet taller than the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

The newest crane on the site of the new regional hospital being built by MaineGeneral Medical Center is 310 feet tall and will be used to place 4,000 tons of steel to form the structure of the 192-bed hospital.

And the bright red framework of the crane makes it clearly visible for motorists passing along Interstate 95 and Old Belgrade Road, near Exit 113, in north Augusta.

American Steel and Precast Concrete of Greenfield, N.H., brought in the 300-ton capacity crane on 12 flatbed trailers, and another crane was used to unload and erect it.

A third crane is on the site as well, finishing the driving of 825 anchoring piles. That work has been under way since mid-September and is expected to finished within the next week or so.

The 320-foot crane will be used to set 4,000 tons of steel and must be moved to six different locations around the perimeter of the hospital building.

“We needed one this big because the building is about 12 acres under roof, and it takes a crane this size to reach the middle of the building,” said hospital spokeswoman Diane Peterson.

The crane, powered by a 450-horsepower engine, will remain at the construction site through August.

Wooden beams are being used as a temporary roadway to support the weight of the crane.

The new hospital, scheduled to open in summer 2014, will replace inpatient operations at MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer campus in Waterville, as well as all operations at the South Chestnut Street hospital in Augusta.

The entire hospital project, including financing, is estimated to cost $412 million and includes $10 million in improvements at the Thayer campus.

Hospital officials said about 175 workers are now involved in the construction.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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