Thanks to two high-speed cranes, design-build contractor Marnell Corrao Associates was able to erect one floor of Las Vegas' Rio Suites Hotel every four days. The last bucket of concrete was placed in November 1996, a year after Marnell Corrao broke ground.

The high-speed, high-capacity diesel-powered luffing cranes--manufactured by Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co., Lexington, Ky.--can lift a 5-cubic-yard bucket of concrete at 300 feet per minute to a height of 1,000 feet. Able to place 50 to 60 cubic yards of concrete per hour using two of these cranes, Marnell Corrao did not need to use additional concrete placing equipment. The two cranes were positioned so their reaches overlapped, enabling them to feed concrete at the same time to the building core.

To beat the desert heat and keep the 240 cubic yards of concrete needed for each deck pour from getting stuck in traffic, crews started deck work at 2 a.m. To place concrete quickly, they used two 5-cubic-yard, concrete buckets that lay on their sides for easy charging and discharging. Marnell Corrao used two complete sets of flying table forms to form most of the decks, which allowed crews to place concrete on one set of forms while stripping and moving the other set.