GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Pearl Street closure outside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel signals the beginning of a $40 million facelift to one of Grand Rapids’ already-popular destinations.
The closure that started March 10 made way for a massive crane moving supplies to the top of the tower. It’s a logistical science Rockford Construction has worked on for years.
“It dates back to 2008 and years of a lot of planning,” said Rockford Construction Senior Project Manager Aaron Ebnit. “Then it takes months to pull this off, to shut down the street to bring this crane in.”
Friday’s wind kept crews from erecting the crane, but it didn’t keep them off the hotel’s slanted roof.
“Typically, you know, we like to work on flat surfaces,” Ebnit joked. “The guys up there working, they were nervous at first, but they’re used to it and we have our safety practices put in place and now they’re actually enjoying it up there.”
Rockford Construction created a safety orientation designed specifically for the elevated work area. Everyone going up goes through the training before working.
Crews have already begun installing a steel structure that will support the tower crane they’re moving in place by the end of the month. The platform will allow workers to reopen Pearl Street.
If the weather cooperates, the road should reopen by the beginning of April.
Once the glass is transported to the construction site, crews will first begin replacing exterior windows on the Amway Grand’s 27th floor and higher. That portion of the project should be completed by 2020. The entire project is on schedule to wrap up by spring of 2021.