It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, no, it’s a crane.
The heavy piece of machinery on the square in downtown Gainesville will become a part of the city’s skyline for the next several weeks. City officials laud the crane as a sign of progress for the reconstruction of the Georgia Mountains Center parking deck.
Crews began assembling the crane Thursday as it arrived in several pieces on about five different tractor-trailers.
Within a week, the 475,000-pound crane should start helping construction crews assemble the four-level deck downtown.
The crane can lift approximately 450 tons and should be able to assemble the parking deck skeleton in the next four to five weeks, project manager Jarrett Nash said.
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.
The four-level deck will accommodate 419 vehicles when complete, and is designed to allow growth to a six-level deck
City officials originally planned to have the deck completed by July, but a problem with concrete and above-average rainfall pushed the project’s completion date to September, Nash said.
Until the work is complete, only one lane of traffic will be open on Main Street from Spring Street to Broad Street. Main Street is open to one-way traffic leaving the square from Spring Street to Broad Street.
For drivers going to the downtown square, city officials recommend using Spring Street via West Academy Street.