Cranes, beams and things

Published May 06, 2010

Something "big" is happening! This morning we began the construction of a 4-ton steel platform...at the bottom of our 16,500-gallon Wings in the Water exhibit.

This is not your typical construction job. This project requires a group of Aquarium divers and commercial divers to install very large stainless steel I-beams at the bottom of an exhibit, while underwater! For the next six to seven days, at least six divers at a time will be in the water 24 hours a day.

The main I-beam was brought into the Aquarium early this morning, lifted into the building with the help of a crane. It is 22 feet long, 14 inches wide, 32 inches tall, and weighs 2,000 pounds!

When finished, the structure will weigh 10,000 pounds. It's a big job, but just a small part of how we care for our animals and our exhibits. More than 40 animals live in this exhibit alone, including a variety of stingrays, sharks and a green sea turtle.

Click here to see more photos of the I-beam installation, and stay tuned for more updates from our underwater construction team!

You can help us keep our exhibits up to date! Text "RESTORE" to 20222 to donate $5 toward this and other Aquarium restoration projects. With you, we make a difference.
Previous Post

Featured Stories

Cold-stunned turtle patient Animal Rescue Update: Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles

The 32 cold-stunned rescue sea turtles in the National Aquarium’s care are improving after a few weeks under the watchful eyes of our staff.

Read the full story

WeGo at the National Aquarium WeGo: Bringing the Aquarium to Critically Ill Children

A pilot program at the National Aquarium brings the wonder of the world’s aquatic treasures directly to children in local hospitals.

Read the full story

Related Stories

Living Seashore Construction Update!

Published January 14, 2015

2013 Re-cap: The Making of Blacktip Reef

Published December 30, 2013