Albany gets a new gateway - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany gets a new gateway

February 15, 2006

Albany--A new gateway to welcome visitors to Albany is going up right now. The giant structure weighs approximately twelve thousand pounds. Crews have until 6 AM to complete the large archway on Oglethorpe Boulevard at Front Street Downtown.

From tightening bolts, to checking wires, crews work extra hard to get the city's new gateway ready. "Doing our best to get this thing built and up and installed for yall," says Chris Toms.

And it's not easy, that's because, the four member crew are working a thirty hour shift.

"Just kind of putting it together, wiring it up, getting all the electrical done," says one crew member.

"A lot of work has gone into this. been going on for over two years now trying to get these archways up," says another crew member.

"We're really excited. It's been a real challenging process," says Tommy Chatmon. Albany Tomorrow, Inc. led the way for the big arch that will welcome people into the "Good Life City."

"A gateway of this stature is also to make a statement that you've now arrived in a certain special place," says Chatmon.

More than 30,000 cars drive through the intersection of Oglethorpe and Front avenue daily. As crews work hard to erect the 30 foot gateway, it distracts nearby drivers. "A lot of people are stopping and asking what it's going to be and if it's going to be a walkway or just a cross over," says a worker.

Others, simply are excited to see the huge structure go up. "Every passerby goes 'what are you doing what are you doing,' cars are going by, honking, woo hoo, it seems like everybody is pretty happy," says a worker.

"Oh, man. you wouldn't believe it. All kinds of people are excited to see this," says another worker.

With several more hours to go before the last piece goes up, crews say cold weather, or even a little fatigue won't stop them from getting the job done.

"We'll have it erected one way or the other."

Nearly $700,000 in sales tax money is paying for the project. A second gateway on Broad will honor veterans of World War One.

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