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Portland has 15 cranes up at present, down from 23 in January 2021, as the future looks uncertain

PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - The number of construction cranes in Portland decreased in the first six months of 2021. This crane at Northwest 12th Avenue and Raleigh Street in the Pearl was in full swing in October 2021 as the ironwork went into place for a new senior living facility.

The twice-a-year Crane Index for North America is compiled by Rider Levett Bucknall. This report provides a rough idea of economic activity by focusing on large construction projects.

Portland has 15 cranes up right now, down from 23 in January 2021. Portland had 30 cranes in July 2019. Seattle now has 39 cranes, down from 43 in January.

According to the report, "As several large commercial and mixed-use projects have wrapped up, the Portland crane count has seen a substantial decrease. Large new projects that will require cranes (PDX TCORE [at the airport] and numerous transit projects) have not yet begun construction. Most new projects are mixed use and residential properties that are located in the Northwest and Downtown."

PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - The number of construction cranes in Portland decreased in the first six months of 2021. This crane at Block 216 at 10th Ave. and Washington Street is at the site of a future Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Canucks rising

The report showed a 4.5% decrease in cranes across the country from Q1 2021's edition of the RLB Crane Index. Of the fourteen cities surveyed: three experienced an increase; five are holding steady; and six have decreased (five of which range from 32%-78%).

In Seattle, the crane count shrunk slightly over the past six months mostly in the Capital Hill/ Central area. The University District and Downtown Seattle still have the bulk of the cranes.

PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN  - The number of construction cranes in Portland decreased in the first six months of 2021. This crane at Northwest 20th Avenue and Pettygrove Street in Slabtown was in full swing in October 2021.

Toronto's crane count went up 81% from this time last year. Toronto now has 225 cranes, up from 124 in Q3 2020.

"The single thread that can be woven amongst all cities surveyed is uncertainty; it remains a significant factor to the construction market."

The report blamed COVID-19 for the uncertainty.


Joseph Gallivan
Reporter, The Business Tribune
971-204-7874
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