Construction takes to the skies for multi-million dollar project

BRISTOL, Tenn. -      On Friday, a Sikorsky S-58T helicopter moved 27 HVAC units to the roof of Bristol, Tennessee's newest outdoor store, Bass Pro Shops. Each unit weighing just over a ton.

     John Roberts, vice president of operations for HVAC, Incorporated, says, "It's more economical for a large rooftop like this to do it with a helicopter versus a conventional crane." He also tells us it saves time, " A crane would have to set up 6 to 8 times on a building this size and move around, which would take most of the day, if not a day plus."

     It takes the helicopter about 90 minutes to drop the heating and air units on the roof of the 105,000 square foot building.

     Developer Steve Johnson says construction is moving very quickly, "Everything is moving great. Right on schedule. Been a tough winter, but we've got great crews."

     The winter weather that closed schools and delayed flights didn't put a dent in the work happening at The Pinnacle. Johnson adds, "We had things programmed for the infrastructure to go in on the boulevard through the toughest part of winter. Really, you can put the sewer, water and electric in any condition so we didn't get slowed down any."

     While Bass Pro is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2014, Johnson says he thinks Bass Pro CEO Johnny Morris has something up his sleeve. "He's pretty sneaky. I'm thinking he's thinking about a big night race weekend."

     Johnson told us work will start in early April on the 150,000 square foot Belk Department store, the space for a movie theater and the junior anchor stores.

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