Rio Rancho’s celebrity crane has been replaced by a smaller crane in front of the Intel plant after a snapped cable caused the larger crane to fall in late March, prompting the New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau to investigate.
The bigger crane was moved offsite for further investigation, Intel Communications and Media Manager Katelynn Loughrin wrote in an email.
“This smaller crane (is) suited for our current and future construction needs,” Loughrin wrote.
Matthew Maez, an OHSB spokesperson, said the investigation into why the cable snapped is ongoing and called it a “fairly complex case.”
The original crane, which was the largest of six cranes at the site, stood 450 feet tall. The crane rose in “stardom,” this year, even boasting an Instagram fan page run by Intel employee and crane superfan Joee Sanchez. The profile, @onlycranes22, now has more than 1,000 followers.
The construction is part of a $3.5 billion project by Intel to expand production at the Rio Rancho plant, Loughrin previously told the Journal. Construction has been underway since 2021.