A 500-ton crane arrived in downtown Tyler last night and went to work early this morning to reroof The Peoples Petroleum Building.
The crews started removing roofing and loose rock from the 15th floor roof and the crane was bringing it all down to an oversized Dumpster parked on Erwin Street. At the same time, the crane was uploading material for a new roof, Ford said.
Also from the 15th floor, the crane was expected to take a large water storage tank, which Ford estimated to be at least 15-foot-by-20-foot, down and replace it with a new one of the same size.
Throughout the weekend, the crews will also be demolishing and replacing the 11th and third story roofs.
Ford said Merit has six men on the job while the TNT Crane & Rigging Company had five crewmen, including two on the roof, two on the ground and one in the crane.
Ford said he has never been involved in a project that used a 500-ton crane.
Garrett & Associates General Contractors is leading all work and physical efforts for the restoration of the historic 1932 building.
Last year, Tim Brookshire, his son Garnett Brookshire and Andy Bergfeld created a new partnership — The Peoples Petroleum Building LLC. The name comes from its former purpose as Peoples National Bank and deep oil and gas industry history. The men plan to restore the building and construction has been underway for months.
Ford said a lot of cooperation went into the roofing project, with the Genecov Group letting them use its parking lot for the crane to operate from. “Between Garrett and the Brookshires, this is smooth,” Ford said while watching over the crane work this morning.
He said the crane would be gone by the end of the weekend and on Monday, people would have their parking lot back.
“The thing is, you just can’t get in a hurry because of safety,” he said.