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Big crane takes over rebuilding parking deck at Georgia Mountains Center
A 475,000-pound crane has been assembled to help construction crews build the four-level parking deck downtown at the Georgia Mountains Center. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The 200-foot crane piercing the sky of downtown Gainesville broke into its first hours of work Monday.

"The crew started assembling it Thursday and finished it Friday," said Jimmy Mize, foreman of Bass Precast Erecting in Cleveland. "We started setting columns for the four sides today."

The 475,000-pound crane, which arrived in several pieces on tractor-trailers Thursday, will help crews construct a four-level parking deck for the Georgia Mountains Center.

The initial skeleton of the deck will be complete in four to six weeks, Mize said. The completed deck will open up space for 419 vehicles and could later expand to six levels.

Designed by architect Steve Hill of Gainesville, the new $6.85 million parking deck will extend over the entrance to the mountains center and will include brick accents fashioned in a pattern similar to that on the downtown square sidewalks.

Until the crane work is completed, one lane of traffic will be open on Main Street from Spring Street to Broad Street.

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