Top of Daytona: Monster crane makes child’s play of storm repair – News – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES – In the blue sky over the 29-story Peck Plaza, a dumpster that had occupied two spaces in the condominium parking lot now dangles like a matchbox.

This is what happens when a massive crawler crane lifts building materials more than 100 feet above the roof of the tallest building in the region, about 1 1/2 soccer fields away – straight up.

It’s the kind of power that even experienced construction workers watch with childlike amazement.

“It’s always fun doing something you don’t do every day,” said Edwin Peck, president of Peck & Associates Construction, the Daytona Beach Shores company that acts as general contractor for repairs to storm damage that closed Peck Plaza – and its popular Top of Daytona restaurant – since Hurricane Matthew on October 7th.

“Working with this crane is like a child with a large lifting set. It’s great fun to see them assemble and operate everything, ”said Peck, who has been in the construction business for four decades. His father, Edwin Sr., built the signature octagonal Peck Plaza during his years as one of the busiest developers in Daytona Beach.

The huge crane that occupies most of Peck Plaza’s outdoor parking lot is a Manitowoc Model 2250 Series 2 crawler crane. It weighs 220 tons and uses a 200 foot main boom and an additional 200 foot luffing or adjustable boom to lift itself to a height of 420 feet.

It took a week to assemble the 2250, which arrived on 21 tractor units in parts from Tampa. An additional semi was required to provide a dozen 8 by 10 foot, 1 inch thick steel plates as a foundation so the weight of the crane wouldn’t destroy the tarmac parking lot, Peck said.

“It’s called a crawler because it has a trail, like an army tank with the steps,” Peck said. “The crawler would destroy the asphalt parking lot because of its weight, but we needed the crawler because the weight of the crane wouldn’t be enough tires to support it.”

Due to limited space on the beach, the crane’s boom and boom had to be assembled vertically, with the parts being lifted by a second crane rather than the typical method of stretching it across the ground, Peck said. Should dangerously high winds occur, the crane will be lowered to the ground and likely stretch across the beach towards the sea, Peck said.

That’s just the work on site.

On the roof of Peck Plaza, 343 feet above the ground, more than a dozen workers are working to repair more than 60 holes made by flying storm debris. Locally owned R&R Industries workers are pulling up the old surface so steel workers can install steel logs and a new steel deck, Peck said.

“It is dangerous work and you cannot fail to see that it is dangerous,” said Peck. “There is no parapet wall. It’s just a flat roof all the way down to the steel beam. There are lots of little pieces that will fall apart and you need to make sure they don’t fall over the edge. It gives your workers security. A big gust can easily knock you out if you don’t have the right safety connections and attachments. We spend a significant amount of money just on security itself. “

The cost of Peck Plaza’s four-month roof repair alone will be more than $ 1 million, said Greg Foster, the community’s community association manager for the community. In addition, extensive repairs are being carried out to repair water damage to the interior walls and replace 32 sliders and windows broken by the storm, Foster said.

The goal is to get the building back into use for the roughly 80 owners of the building’s 100 units by January 2018, Foster said.

“Many of my owners rent out and there will be a significant financial burden on them not being able to rent out their units for the neighborhood of 14 months,” said Foster. “But they understood the goal of putting the building back better than before. This is an iconic building on the east coast. “

David Everest, chairman of the board of directors of the plaza owners association, needed to get the most out of the two units he and his wife own, he said. They visit the Kansas City, Kansas home, usually at least once a month, year round, he said.

“It was a hardship for the people who owned there,” Everest said. “People are trying to find other places to live without knowing at this point exactly how long it will take for the building to be operational again.”

The crane at Peck Plaza is not the only heavy machine in the region. An additional crane loomed next to the Towers Ten Condo at 3425 S. Atlantic Avenue south of Peck Plaza, and others dot the landscape along State Road A1A from Ormond to Ponce Inlet.

Some of these beachfront properties are recovering from Matthew, a hurricane that caused nearly $ 600 million in damage to Volusia and Flagler counties, including $ 67.7 million in damage to hotels and motels in Volusia, according to the office of the County Property Appraiser.

At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a massive crane is expansion, not repair.

The large crane on campus is part of the construction of the university’s new four-story student union, which is a Barton Malow Construction Services project, according to James Roddey, the university’s communications director. It is a Manitowoc 999 Series 3 that was transported on 13 flatbed trucks to Embry-Riddle, where it was assembled in three days.

It weighs 219,000 pounds and comes with a 190-foot main boom and a 170-foot luffing boom, Roddey said. That makes it a little shorter than the crane at Peck Plaza, in a role where size is definitely important.

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