EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) –- Very early Thursday morning, a great blue heron landed near the University of Oregon campus. It’s not an ordinary heron -this one weighs 1,400 pounds and it’s made of steel.
Crews installed the huge metal sculpture at 13th Avenue and Alder Street as part of a gift to Eugene for the city's 150th birthday.
The intersection was closed overnight as a crane lifted the bird made of recycled materials out of a flatbed truck trailer and carefully placed it on a concrete pedestal. After the statue’s feet were bolted to the base the artist, Jud Turner, scaled a ladder to install the eyeballs.
Turner said he was “excited and relieved. Lowering a big heavy sculpture onto four bolts is a pretty delicate exercise. It's a 1,400-pound piece and so you want to do it really carefully and slowly. And we got real lucky with how things lined up this morning.”
Turner has a solid connection to Eugene: he was born and raised in the city.
OBEC Consulting Engineers donated their resources and time to help install the statue as their gift to the City of Eugene.
The official dedication of the 'Great Blue Heron' is scheduled for Saturday, October 20, at 11:30 AM at the intersection of 13th and Alder.