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Earlier today I spent some time chatting with Marie, an 18-year veteran crane operator, who will be half of the team operating the tower crane at K2 at K Station, a new 34-story apartment high-rise under construction in Chicago. I also met Mike Regal from Morrow Crane, a worldwide operation that rents more than 500 cranes -- although the recession has mothballed quite a few of them. Mike gave me a quick look at the schedule for completing the tower crane at K2 and shared some fascinating trivia about the cost of crane rentals and the history of this one. It was the east crane at Trump Tower, where they had to chip off "ice as thick as bricks" during the second winter it was in operation.