DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Building the 73-story replacement for the Wilshire Grand Hotel comes with myriad architectural needs. Now, the effort to erect the $1 billion-plus project in the heart of a buzzing metropolis is necessitating something rarely seen in Downtown Los Angeles: a special cantilever crane.

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Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 3, said project spokesman Sean Rossall, Downtowners will see a crane sitting atop a raised platform extending out from the under-construction building. While the elevated position and the crane’s proximity to Wilshire Boulevard may seem unusual, the positioning is common in large U.S. cities, such as Manhattan, where space is tight. Cantilevers reduce the surface area occupied by the construction site and limit disruption to the surrounding area, Rossall said.

Still, there will be impacts on traffic: One eastbound lane on Wilshire Boulevard will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Feb. 3-12. The closure will start at Francisco Street and Wilshire Boulevard and continue to Figueroa Street.

The Wilshire Grand replacement, with 900 hotel rooms atop 400,000 square feet of office space, is expected to open in early 2017.

donna@downtownnews.com

© Los Angeles Downtown News 2015