Highest structural beam placed on Fiat Chrysler's new Detroit plant

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Detroit's first new auto assembly plant in nearly 30 years on Friday got its Christmas tree — a nickname for a new building's highest structural beam.

Construction workers get ready to position and install the final beam of structural steel as it is lowered by crane to the roof of the paint shop at FCA's Mack Avenue plant in Detroit four months to the day since the first beam was placed on the project.

The top-most steel beam of 299 at Fiat Chrysler Automobile NV's plant on Detroit's east side was put in place with an actual evergreen on top to mark the successful and safe completion of the job. The milestone comes four months after the first beam was in put in place.

The $1.6 billion project is transforming the former Mack Avenue Engine Complex into an assembly plant for the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and a new three-row, full-size Jeep SUV. It will employ 3,850 people. The vehicles are expected to begin rolling off the line by the end of 2020.