Construction crews battle the cold - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Construction crews battle the cold

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- The cold can have a big impact on those who have to work outside. The frigid temperatures can delay projects and force workers to find some place warm in the middle of winter.

Construction on the new Hy-Vee store in Waterloo began in November when crews laid the foundation for the building. Construction workers say they know when you start of project like this in November, it's going to be a very long winter.

Joshua Thrap is the Project Manager for Hy-Vee Weitz Construction. He says the new store will be two stories tall with a dining area on the second floor.

"It's about 22,000 square feet. It's going to add a bakery and meat department to the existing store that's relocating here," said Thrap.

To combat the cold construction crews have had to use scaffolding, plastic, and a heater to keep the masonry work above freezing. They've also had to get creative when pouring the floor.

"We use ground that heaters. They're a machine that heats up the ground that runs in loops. Usually it takes about 24 hours to heat a pad of ground and it turns it into mud," said Thrap.

However, when it gets too cold work slows down.

"For the most part you just take more breaks. You'll see them sitting in trucks or in their trailers every two hours just to warm up and you know when it gets to a certain temperature sometime you just have to say it's too cold... Stop," said Thrap.

Officials with Hy-Vee expect this new store to be open by mid-summer. They don't have an exact date yet because Mother Nature and a whole lot more snow and cold could change that quickly.

Once the new store is finished, the small Byron Avenue Hy-Vee will close. All employees will then transfer to the new store.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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