LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles project laying the foundation for the tallest building west of the Mississippi has broken the world record for the largest continuous concrete pour, a Guinness World Records adjudicator said Sunday.
Round-the-clock pouring started at 4:47 p.m. Saturday with 208 trucks making more than 2,100 trips and pouring 82 million pounds of concrete during an 18 1/2-hour period, said Sean Rossall, a spokesman for the project building a skyscraper called the New Wilshire Grand. Ultimately 21,200 cubic yards of concrete were poured by 11:30 a.m., beating the existing record of 21,000 cubic yards set by The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas in 1999, Guinness World Records adjudicator Michael Empric said.
“We just wrapped up, and we broke the world record,” Rossall said excitedly by phone minutes after blaring horns officially announced the last pour.
Empric monitored the pour overnight by smartphone before meeting with contractors and engineers Sunday to check their final numbers. Empric, who had just finished judging a successful Valentine’s Day effort to set the record for the most people feeding each other simultaneously, said he has learned a lot about concrete and the challenges of such a pour.
“If they don’t cool the concrete as it’s poured, it’ll go into this thermal reaction and crack,” Empric said. He called the record amazing.
Each truck made 10 to 14 concrete drops traveling through the night between eight different concrete plants within a 20-mile radius, Rossall said. The first batch of concrete poured onto the site was brought over from a plant in Vernon that poured the first concrete in Southern California ever, Rossall said.
The New Wilshire Grand project, developed by Korean Air, is estimated to cost more than $1 billion and has been a huge undertaking.
Because the concrete must be poured within 90 minutes of being mixed, trucks had to arrive on time. In case of freeway jams, alternate routes were mapped. Rossall said traffic had a minimal impact on the pouring, which had been scheduled to last 20 hours.
The concrete now must “cure” or set and harden over the next couple weeks.