Lifesaving heroism by off-duty firefighter commended by Flossmoor board


(Photo by Tom Houlihan/HF Chronicle)

Following an exceptionally busy summer, a flurry of activity is continuing at Flossmoor’s Meijer superstore site.

The project is on schedule for a store opening next spring, said Scott Bugner, the village’s inspectional services administrator. With good construction weather for most of the summer, progress on the 192,000-square-foot store is clearly visible. The Meijer site is on the north side of Vollmer Road just east of Crawford Avenue.

“It’s going very well,” Bugner said Tuesday.

Construction started the first week in July. It took about two weeks for crews to install the walls using cranes and 12-foot by 24-foot prefabricated sections. Bugner said about half the roof deck is already in place and installation of interior plumbing and electrical systems has started. Like much of the project so far, those systems require hookups to sub-surface installations and the current work is going on underground.

Similarly, work on the parking lot light fixtures – also underground – has been completed.

“They’re just waiting for the light poles,” he said.

Trees are being planted at the site and the ground is being prepared for additional landscaping. Work is proceeding on the Meijer gas station, which is being built along Vollmer on the east end of the commercial complex. A canopy of steel beams has been erected where the gas pumps will be located.

Bugner said parking lot paving is expected to begin Thursday. Widening work on Crawford Avenue is also about to begin. Right and left turn lanes will be installed where 198th Street was formerly located.

“That is probably going to cause some traffic delays on Crawford,” he said. “They have already had flaggers out there and I expect traffic to slow down pretty soon.”

As Flossmoor’s inspectional services administrator, Bugner said he is at the Meijer site on a daily basis. He is responsible for making sure the project conforms to plans submitted to and approved by the village. He said some jobs are so specialized that they require the services of an outside inspector.

This week, Bugner said, he is performing an inspection of the plumbing being installed inside the store and overseeing the pouring of some concrete pads.

There is still much work to be done this fall. The rest of the roof must be installed and final steps need to be taken so that the walls can stand by themselves – they are still being held up by braces.

Overall, though, the store building is on track to be in good enough shape that it can be closed to the cold weather when winter arrives. At that point, the project will move completely inside so that the store can be completed by the spring.

The Meijer project is the biggest single construction job in Flossmoor’s history. Bugner said just about every type of building trade is represented on the job site.

“They are all here,” he said. “Iron workers, pipe fitters, laborers, carpenters, electricians, cement workers, truck drivers, heavy equipment operators.”

At the store groundbreaking in May, Meijer Group Vice President Gerald Melville said construction of one of his company’s superstores generally creates 600 construction jobs.

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