On September 7, 2011, a 500-foot crane that was performing cleanup work from the August 23rd earthquake at the National Cathedral fell over. The 5.8-magnitude August earthquake rattled the Cathedral, breaking limestone ornamentation from the spires and the crane was being used to remove that debris from around the Cathedral’s upper surfaces. Crews were also working to clear broken stone from the Cathedral’s upper faces so that scaffolding could be erected for the repair effort.

When the crane collapsed, its 350-foot arm had just deposited repair materials on the Cathedral roof. While rotating, the equipment’s balance upset, and the crane came crashing down. The crane flipped over into a parking lot in between the Cathedral and several other church buildings. The crane, positioned on the south side of the church, hit an adjoining building. The building had a portion of its roof ripped off and several cars were also crushed in the fall. VIKA was selected to perform forensic surveying and to recover existing and/or establish new horizontal and vertical control points for performing survey locations and monitoring. We also provided computation to support field crews throughout the course of performing survey monitoring of the crane removal.

VIKA’s trained survey personnel can mobilize on short notice for disaster and damage structure monitoring projects. Our extensive experience surveying collapsed structures and existing conditions include:

  • Pentagon Phoenix Project reconstruction after the 9-11 terrorist attack, Arlington, VA
  • A 22-story construction crane collapse in New York, NY
  • A warehouse collapse in Prince George’s County, MD
  • A parking garage collapse in Miami, FL
  • Roof collapse at the Dulles Jet Center at Dulles International Airport, VA
  • Garage collapse at the Watergate in Washington, DC
  • Crane collapse at the National Cathedral Church in Washington, DC