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“A huge milestone:” Downtown Milwaukee witnesses historical concrete pour

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A historical event for Wisconsin, contractors on the new Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons are wrapping up a 27-hour concrete pour.

It is history in the making as 250 construction workers are operating 50 cement trucks that are pouring concrete for hours straight.

"That's the largest continuous concrete pour we believe ever in the state of Wisconsin," said President of C.G. Schmidt, Rick Schmidt.

Schmidt is talking about the site of the new Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons area.

"Every worker down there moral is just terrific. They're working long hours through cold weather and all night they're all happy to be here and work on a job that is so important to the city," said Schmidt

The work began Friday night, March 27th, at 7 p.m. This is when the workers create the very important foundation of the 32 story tower as they pour 10,000 cubic yards of concrete.

"That's enough concrete to cover an American football field 5 feet deep," said Brian Mitchell, President of Choice Construction.

Choice Construction Company placed the reinforcing steel for the foundation.

"We placed 1,200 tons of steel, we worked 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for over 4 weeks," said Mitchell.

Working on this weekend's project are several local contractors.

"It's really been a source for jobs for city of Milwaukee residents. 40% of the labor on this job is being done by city of Milwaukee residents who were unemployed or underemployed," said Schmidt.

The concrete pour will require 1,000 trips around the clock into and out of the construction site, transporting cement from three different plants located in Bay View, West Allis and Menomonee Falls.

"It's a lot of concrete to pour at one time. Our group has been planning this for months," said Schmidt.

And this weekend's work will go down in history.

"This is a huge milestone in a very long process," said Schmidt.

Construction of the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons should be completed by the end of 2017.

This project has shut down some roads and sidewalks through Tuesday, March 31st.

Those include: Mason Street from Cass to Prospect. On the east and south sides of the construction site -- the west lane of prospect and the north lane of Wisconsin avenue from Mason to Cass.

The sidewalk will also be closed, as well as the east lane of Van Buren Street between Wisconsin and Mason.

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