Major downtown traffic implications this weekend as last City Center tower crane comes down

Meet the man in the tower crane above City Center

City Center tower crane operator Ed Dangler speaks about his work nearly 300 feet above downtown Lexington, Kentucky.
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City Center tower crane operator Ed Dangler speaks about his work nearly 300 feet above downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

Main Street through the heart of downtown Lexington will be down to one lane this weekend as the last giant tower crane at the City Center development comes down.

As the crane, which is 220 feet above Main Street, is disassembled by an even larger crane, 14 tractor trailers will be sitting on Main Street to take away the pieces. Two lanes on the left side of the street will be blocked 24 hours a day, as will be the turn lane onto South Upper.

The entire Main Street will be blocked at times as well, according to the city, when the removal work requires the lane to be closed for safety.

The crane is one of a pair that loomed over Lexington’s skyline for years as the City Center (then known as CentrePointe) project languished.

One of them, which was 60 feet shorter, came down in January; this second will come down over the weekend, with work wrapping up on Monday if there are weather delays, said Ralph Coldiron, project manager for the City Center development.

Exterior work on the 12-story office tower is completed, and exterior work on the Marriott and Residence Inn hotels is expected to be done in a few weeks. Coldiron said that they hope to open the sidewalk all the way to Upper Street in six weeks.

The 336-room hotels are scheduled to open this fall. The three-story 700-space underground parking garage is partially open, and will be completely open soon.

The 220-foot tower crane is one pair of the two which helped construct downtown Lexington’s City Center. Alex Slitz

The $220 million City Center development, which includes the new Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse on Vine, also has a new Starbucks, the Keeneland Mercantile, a bank and other retail, as well as another restaurant by chef Jonathan Lundy with the Greer Companies, who are partners in the development with Webb Companies.

Meanwhile, West Short Street between North Mill and North Upper streets will be closed from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, to allow for the installation of a sculpture, according to the city.

The Lexington Farmers Market will be impacted by the Short Street closure but will remain open.

Janet Patton covers restaurants, bars, food and bourbon for the Herald-Leader. She is an award-winning business reporter who also has covered agriculture, gambling, horses and hemp.
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