Despite rain, sleet, and wind, union workers and Rock Island County officials celebrated the "topping off" of the annex to the Criminal Justice Center. This morning, a crane lifted the final piece of steel onto the building. Then two members of Local #111 of the Iron Workers union secured it.
Field Foreman, Rod Hartman, from Industrial Steel Erectors, says it's traditional to place a Christmas tree and the US flag on the last I-beam. The tree is a symbol of safety on the job so far, and to honor Native Americans and the idea that no building will ever surpass nature. Hartland's crew of twelve iron workers will continue to work inside the annex on the decking for each floor and to weld I-beams to the steel columns.
Jake Davis, from DLR Architectural Group, says since last spring, construction has been going smoothly. The three-story building will include four courtrooms and offices for court administration, the circuit clerk, and state's attorney, plus other secure areas for suspects. It'll take another year to complete the $28 million project.