Penn State University

As a continually growing college campus, Penn State University needed to improve its water supply system. As part of this upgrade, Phoenix was contracted to raise each of the two large tanks an additional 16 ft. to accommodate greater head pressures.

Due to restrictive site conditions and adjacent structures, there was insufficient space to raise Tank 3, a 1,000,000-gallon sphere, using conventional hydraulic cranes. So Phoenix engineers developed a plan and tailored equipment to raise the tank with hydraulic cylinders. Once the tank was lifted, Phoenix crews worked to add the new stem sections and properly secure it before relieving the hydraulics.

The site was large enough to raise Tank 4, a 1,500,000-gallon, multi-column tank, using conventional hydraulic cranes. Phoenix engineered a plan that utilized six cranes to accommodate the 800,000-pound lift. The plan covered not only the engineering function of the lift but also the constant close communication among the operators, enabling them to work safely in unison. Once the tank was lifted, Phoenix crews added new leg and riser sections to it before relieving the cranes.


Penn State University


Old Main, State College, PA

Tank Size & Style

Tank 3: 1,000,000-Gallon Sphere
Raised 16’-0” with Hydraulic Cylinders

Tank 4: 1,500,000-Gallon Multi-Column Tank
Raised 16’-0” with Hydraulic Cranes