- Contractors chosen for conversion of UW coal plant
- Wind farm towers take local turn: Manitowoc firm will build 90 steel structures for We Energies Columbia County project
- Wind farm construction to start soon | Up to 90 turbines planned for project
- Citizen soldiers say 'thanks' to Fox Cities employers who allow them to serve Department of Defense presents Patriot Awards to businesses
- Top Projects Events Shows Off Best of the Best
- Land gift from The Boldt Co. means new entry for Appleton Art Center
- Lawrence University's Warch Campus Center gains Wisconsin Builder Magazine Construction Award
- The Boldt Co. to build We Energies' new 50-megawatt biomass cogeneration plant at Domtar Corp. paper mill in Rothschild: Appleton firm extends green
- Boldt Construction gearing up For Earth Hour
- The Boldt Co. to build We Energies' new 50-megawatt biomass plant
- Lawrence University professor Janet Anthony, students will travel from Appleton to Haiti to deliver relief supplies
- Meet Inc. Innovator Juanita Frankfurth
- New North Inc. capitalizes on emerging alternative energy industry in Northeastern Wisconsin
- Wisconsin firms to start work on We Energies wind farm
Release Date: August 12, 2010
Sacramento crane operator
The Sacramento Bee
Michael Reid starts each workday with a harrowing 15-minute ascent up a massive steel ladder. He makes the reverse climb at the end of the day.
In between, he's ensconced in what he calls "my treehouse in the sky", a glass cabin 246 feet above ground, where he operates one of two cranes recently installed for the Sutter Health expansion project in midtown Sacramento.
It's an eerie place for a visitor. Even the cabin floor is glass, allowing a much-too-vivid view of workers scurrying far, far below.
But it's no problem for Reid, a New York native who's been doing this sort of work for more than 30 years.
"Heights don't bother me," he says.
Neither does working all alone in a tiny box for upward of 10 hours a day.
He has a comfortable upholstered chair, a radio tuned to AM talk shows, a pair of binoculars to check out local sights and a book always at hand "to keep my sanity."
The isolation of the work used to bother him, Reid allows. Not anymore.
"You realize you're the heart and soul of the job," he says, entrusted with delivering bundles of rebar, concrete forms and 1,000-pound I-beams to construction workers while making sure "they go home with all their fingers and toes."
He says he takes that responsibility very seriously. He won't touch alcohol, for example, the night before a workday.
"I have to be sharp as an arrow," he says.
Even on slow days like these, when general contractor Boldt Construction is just starting what will be Sutter's eight-story women's and children's center.
"This job entails hours and hours of boredom," Reid says, "followed by moments of sheer panic."