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Construction crane's lights are for safety plus fun

There is a large construction crane at Rogue Regional Medical Center right now, and they recently lined it with colorful lights. I am assuming this is for extra visibility for helicopters landing, but was just wanting to know for sure. And how do they install those lights on such a large crane?

— Stacy

The lights on the crane are there for a mix of utility and fun, said Asante spokesperson Lauren Van Sickle.

After we sent your question to her, Van Sickle talked to Jim Mahar of Anderson Construction to learn more about the crane.

For safety reasons, the Federal Aviation Administration requires that three lights be installed on the crane — one at the very top and one on each end of the jib, the horizontal portion of the crane.

As you noticed, the crane is sporting more lights than the FAA requires.

“The lights currently strung along the jib are for decoration and to impart community spirit,” Van Sickle said. “The colors of the lights can be changed, so we’ll likely see red, white and blue during the July Fourth holiday and pink during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.”

Lights are installed while the jib is on the ground, before it’s hoisted into the air and attached to the tower.

The crane is 205 feet tall, and the longest portion of the jib measures 265 feet. A series of 14-foot ladders wind through the center of the tower to the crow’s nest where the crane operator sits.

To assemble the crane, an even taller crane was used to lift the jib into place.

The festively lit crane is being used to build a 326,000-square-foot patient pavilion that will connect to the hospital’s six-floor inpatient building. The construction will allow for the expansion of the emergency department, women’s and children’s services, heart care, surgery and intensive care unit rooms.

The $420 million project is expected to be complete in early 2023. The cost includes renovations inside the hospital, according to Asante.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.