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Milwaukee Bucks Arena
Structural Steel Erection

Project Overview

JP Cullen performed the steel erection for the new Milwaukee Bucks Arena. The total project consisted of approximately 8,000 tons of structural steel. The steel construction consisted of typical structural column and beam steel framing for the surrounding bowl structure including 6 levels plus a roof. The roof over the arena floor consisted of 9 total long span roof trusses, approximately 33 feet deep, with the longest truss spanning 313 feet weighing 102 tons. The first piece of steel was set on November 7, 2016. Two hundred and ninety (290) days later, JP Cullen and the project team celebrated the Topping Off.

The Challenges

One major challenge was the aggressive schedule. The project required over 75 ironworkers onsite at one time. Over 130 ironworkers total worked on the job logging over 80,000 manhours. With the other trades on the job site, there were over 800 workers on site daily. The job also required a lot of steel. There were over 13,000 structural steel pieces weighing over 8,000 tons. Sequencing the work with Merrill Steel, the fabricator, and having detailed safety plans were key to the success.

The Solutions

JP Cullen’s team worked closely with Merrill Steel to ensure on-time delivery of the steel. They also communicated with Merrill how they wanted the steel to be organized for delivery. Having the steel be grouped and delivered in order of erection streamlined the process for our ironworkers.

It was critical for JP Cullen to have a detailed safety plan because of the amount of work taking place and the number of people onsite. JP Cullen only allowed the steel erection crews from entering the controlled access zones. Any person who did not know the steel operations would be putting themselves at risk of danger.

The Results

Having a well-coordinated plan and executing it allowed the Ironworker crew to complete the job safely, ahead of schedule, and on budget. The job was completed three (3) weeks early!


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