Athletic director Tom Osborne, Chancellor Harvey Perlman, other University of Nebraska-Lincoln officials and construction workers signed the last beam of the East Stadium expansion Thursday afternoon, and then it was hoisted into place, topping off a project that includes about 6,000 new seats and a new research facility.
An evergreen tree perched atop the beam symbolizes that the job went well with no loss of life and serves as a good luck charm. An American flag salutes patriotism and freedom.
The final beam, placed just north of historic Gate 20, is almost 25 feet long and weighs 545 pounds. In all, steel used for the expansion would reach from South Dakota to Kansas if it were laid end to end.
Perlman thanked construction workers and others.
"We might still be at 35,000 seats if not for the program Coach Osborne and Coach Devaney built," he said in a nod to the former head coach.