Yet, nothing is impossible for the engineers and contractors working with Denver's largest tent, the roof of Denver International Airport.
Part of the Jeppesen Terminal's iconic tent roof, made of two layers of fiberglass material as thin as a credit card, is scheduled to be unhooked from the ground as workers make way for a new train station and hotel at the airport.
"All the cables that you see holding the roof in place have to come out in order to get the new building in," said Project Manager Steve Culbertson as he looked at the south end of the terminal Friday.
Only those cables on the south end of the 375,000 square foot roof will be moved. The cables are a vital support structure that holds tens of thousands of pounds of weight from the roof in place.
Each of the steel cables hold various tension amounts. Most are supporting the equivalent of five and 10 RTD bus loads full of weight, project managers said.
"This is a unique and challenging project," Project Designer Jorge Estevez said. "In my experience I don't have a comparison."
Designers had to come up with a way to transfer the tension from the cables to two temporary steel towers, so workers could start building DIA's new 500-room Westin Hotel where the cables currently are attached to the ground.
They claim no one inside DIA's Main Terminal will notice when the tension is transferred from the cables hooked into the ground to the temporary towers.
They've tested the amount of tension the cables can withstand. They say they will know long before anything catastrophic would happen.
"The worst case scenario is that the existing roof would just lean into the building," Culbertson said. "It would probably scare some people, but it wouldn't go anywhere."
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is scheduled to remove the final pin with a large mallet in a ceremony Aug. 29.
Culbertson said they'll be well prepared for the ceremony.
"Nothing's going to happen," he said. "Everything is going to go just fine."
Construction on DIA's new South Terminal Redevelopment Project is scheduled for completion in 2016.
"Nobody's done this," Culbertson said. "What I see is a fascinating project."
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)