What’s the trick to moving a 400,000-pound steel ball?

Well, for starters, you need a place to put it. Custom Concrete was called upon recently to pour the foundation for the exciting new art installation on the Whatcom Waterway. The art piece is actually an old acid tank that was used to help digest paper at the old Georgia Pacific plant on the Bellingham waterfront. It’s being turned into a fun art piece, and for that it needed to be moved.

Enter Custom Concrete.

To give that massive, futuristic-looking ball a place to live, we poured a thick concrete foundation featuring #9 rebar. We placed the rebar, which is 1 1/8 inches in diameter (yes, it’s really that thick!) in a one-foot grid, top and bottom.

After our foundation was finished, crews undertook the enormous task of guiding the structure 1,000 feet across the waterfront to its new home, where it will shine like a beacon at the end of a straight line of sight from Maritime Heritage Park. Watch a video from The Bellingham Herald of the transport in action.

We like to say that concrete work is something you can be proud of because you can look back on jobs years later and still be impressed by how well your craftsmanship is holding up. The acid ball foundation might seem unassuming to the layman, but we know just how much work, engineering and craftsmanship went into ensuring that it works (and looks) great.

At Custom Concrete, we’re proud to have a hand in projects that beautify our community, and this project definitely has been no exception.

The winning design for the acid ball art installation calls for it to be coated with the same tiny glass beads that are used in traffic markings, giving the structure a luminescent finish that will help the structure serve as a beacon on the Bellingham waterfront as the centerpiece — along with the refurbished and revitalized Granary Building — of the new Whatcom Waterway Park. The park is scheduled to open later this year.

It’s a neat project for Bellingham and Whatcom County, and our concrete construction crew is honored to have been a part of it.