BOSTON – If you’re traveling down the Mass. Pike from now on, be prepared to do a double take as you pass through Brighton.
It will be hard to miss the 68-foot, 7,000-pound replica of the Warrior Covert QRL hockey stick that was put into place Tuesday morning atop the Warrior Ice Arena, the new home to the Boston Bruins practice and training complex at Boston Landing, which will also house New Balance’s World Headquarters.
The stick – which will be re-wrapped each year to reflect the newest Warrior model – will grace the arena's plaza and is expected to become the site’s signature landmark.
“The decision was made many, many months ago on what to do to continue our place-making environment here, so one of the ideas created was to develop a large replica that would feature a Warrior hockey stick each year,” said Jim Halliday, the managing director of NB Development Group, which is the primary developer of Boston Landing.
The installation of the massive stick – no, not even 6-foot-9-inch Zdeno Chara could let one rip with this thing – required some 40 construction workers early Tuesday morning. The project had been postponed from Monday due to high winds.
“It was really a surgical operation,” said Halliday. “The person [operating the crane] down at the service street was really raising this thing blind…he was relying on the communications via walkie talkie from others.
“And as you can see it required a lot of strength with guys holding it in place, guiding it. It’s attached up above with one strength bolt at the top and then down to the platform.”
Diamond Iron Works in Lawrence constructed the stick – which is made completely of industrial steel – over the span of the last few months. A crew of four people worked on the project continuously.
“We’ve done a lot of pretty wild projects, but nothing like this before,” said Chuck Doherty, the Shop Foreman at Diamond Iron Works, who has been a Bruins fan since the days of Bobby Orr.
“This is a little awkward; it’s top-heavy, wants to roll. We’ve been working on it for the better part of two or three months – some of that just on paper, design-wise. It took us about a month of shop time to get it right. The guys have been here the last two or three days wrapping it – a little bit of a different project, for sure.”
When construction of the stick was completed last week, the stick was wrapped with the appropriate Warrior decals, before it was loaded onto a truck for transport to Boston.
Lamont’s Trucking of Haverhill handled the delivery, which included a trip down I-93 over the Zakim Bridge and past TD Garden on Sunday afternoon. The stick was strapped down to the bed of the truck at every 10 feet and padded with foam to prevent any scraping.
“Everything is about safety,” said Lamont Rodger, the owner of Lamont’s Trucking, who drove the flatbed to Boston Landing.
“I went down and scoped out the route so that I would know if there were going to be any tight spots because this thing is so big that the turns are difficult to make. You had to get this in here the right way so that you could load it properly.”
Rodger typically transports items that are no longer than 50 feet, so the Warrior stick was by far the largest item he’s ever had to maneuver.
“It’s exciting because this is an unusual thing, there’s a lot of people involved with getting this to work,” said Rodger. “It’s exciting to be bringing it down to New Balance and the Bruins…These guys are very good to work for, I do enjoy the crew. This was just a different challenge.”
And from now on, whenever Rodger drives down the Pike, he’ll have something to point to.
“To be a part of something like this,” said Rodger, “every time I go by that on the Pike – if anybody’s with me – I can say, ‘I brought that thing.’
“I can’t wait to tell people that.”