People driving down South Antrim Way at a certain time Wednesday probably did a double-take at the 12,000 excavator high in the sky at the end of West Franklin Street.

A Grove crane from Digging and Rigging Coastal Crane Service had to be brought in get the excavator in place for a manhole repair.

The manhole is located down a 25-foot embankment and the excavator first had to be lifted up and over the trees, explained Dirk Mowen of Ganoe Paving, which was contracted to do the job for the Greencastle water system.

The manhole is located in a flood plain, so the excavator could not be driven in across a meadow. In addition, measures to protect the flood plain included lowering in mulch bedding and a timber mat for the excavator to sit on, Mowen explained. The concrete pieces of the manhole had to be moved down by the crane, too.

"It takes more time to get the equipment in place than to do the job," observed Mowen, who hoped to finish the work on Wednesday.