Structural Wood Systems Project Begins Shipments To Tampa, Impacts South And Central AL Economy


By Catalina Trivino

There's good economic news for south Alabama -- a construction company there is manufacturing and shipping one of its largest orders ever... and area officials say that means more money for surrounding cities...

It's a $2 million dollar project that city officials say has caused a snowball effect across south Alabama. CBS 8 visited Structural Wood Systems in Greenville to see what they're doing and how it's affecting the local economy.

It's a really big load -- about 40,000 lbs. of timber sits on a trailer. It's about as long as 40 yards of a football field.

"I steer the trailer with this remote," Said pilot car steerman, Fred McCracken. "Where it's so long and so big it's got to be steered around the corners." In fact, they use a whole crew to steer these long trucks out to their destination -- that's in addition to law enforcement blocking roads. 

It isn't the easiest task, but it's truckload heading to Tampa, Florida, where Structural Wood Systems in Greenville is shipping its finished product. It's a wooden building frame that will be used for a storage facility the length of four football fields.

Once the purchasing of raw material is done, manufacturing starts with gluing and laminating two by twelves.

"Each of these laminated timbers are approximately 125 foot in length and have 45 boards. If you were to lay the boards end to end, it would encompass over one mile of total length," Said Chief Estimator of Structural Wood Systems, Jarvis McCoy.

It's their longest and most expensive project yet -- and south Alabama is sharing all the benefits.

"They're purchasing most of their products here locally. So it creates more jobs, it's a snowball effect that helps the city in a lot of different ways and it's very important for us on our sales tax revenue also," Said Greenville Mayor, Dexter McClendon.

Project engineers say they're spending more than a half million dollars in raw materials in south and central Alabama. The project takes about five months to make the timber beams and another four months to ship them to Tampa.

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