Buildings squeezed across 18th Street bridge
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This article was published 20/03/2018 (1834 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Drivers may have noticed something unusual on their Monday morning commute as two large buildings meandered their way across the 18th Street bridge just south of the Corral Centre.
A crew from Onanole-based company Minty’s Moving Ltd. removed a pair of large vacant buildings from the Precision Toyota site at 5 a.m., lifting the structures up one by one and taking them over the bridge and onto Grand Valley Road.
The trucks moved slowly given the sizes of the buildings and their proximity to the nearby curbs and lamp posts.
And although the move hit a few snags along the way — a piece of steel broke off the moving equipment and had to be welded back on, while the first building clipped a streetlight mid-route — by 9 a.m., both buildings had made it successfully over the bridge.
“We generally assume that there’s going to be some challenges,” Minty’s general manager Dale Wallis said.
Wallis was in Brandon to help oversee the move and said the team estimated it would take four hours to get both buildings over the bridge.
The southbound lane was closed to vehicles and officers from the Brandon Police Service helped redirect traffic at the Kirkcaldy Drive lights.
With less than a foot between the building and the lamp posts, there was little room for error.
The crew was forced to drive slowly as they weaved their way around the light fixtures, while at the same time trying to keep the building balanced.
While transporting the first building, Wallis said a piece of steel broke off from the moving equipment after going over a curb.
The piece was welded back on, but the accident put the dollies out of alignment.
Wallis said the crew spent less than an hour trying to readjust the equipment and raise the building a bit higher.
The first building struck a light along the way and a worker from Manitoba Infrastructure was on-site surveying the damage.
“Our experience is that something is going to happen,” Wallis said.
Precision Toyota is in the process of building a new car dealership at its 18th Street location and offered its two vacant buildings to a property owner who lives just west of the city.
Scott Ball, general manager of Precision Toyota, said it was the property owner who hired the team from Minty’s.
“All I know is that it’s quite the science to moving those things,” Ball said. “I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was, but to watch all those guys work away at those is unbelievable. Pretty slim margin of error going across there.”
Wallis said he hopes the move wasn’t too much of an inconvenience to the public.
But if the two buildings can be saved in the long run, rather than be demolished and thrown in a landfill, he said it will benefit everyone.
“We feel good about doing this sort of work,” he said.
» Twitter: @mtaylorlee