Major construction on a 73-story hotel and office tower at the former site of the Wilshire Grand Hotel will begin today in downtown Los Angeles with what is hoped to be a record-setting foundation pour.
Starting at 5 p.m., crews will attempt a Guinness World Record by continuously pouring about 21,200 cubic yards of concrete into a massive pit on Wilshire Boulevard, between Figueroa and Seventh streets.
The concrete, weighing about 82 million pounds, is expected to be delivered to the site over a 20 hour period by 208 trucks making 2,120 trips.
The last drops of concrete are expected to go in by 10 p.m. Sunday.
Spectators will be able to watch the pour from the sidewalk at Figueroa Street and Wilshire Boulevard.
Sections of Figueroa Street, Seventh Street, Wilshire Boulevard and Francisco Street will be closed during the pour.
If the continuous pour is completed as planned, the feat could break a previous record set by the foundation pour for the Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas, according to Sean Rossall, spokesman for Korean Air, the project's developer.
Cold water will be piped in through several tubes embedded in the foundation to help the hardening process, he said.
Concrete foundation pours can also done in phases, but the continuous session is thought to result in a more structurally sound foundation, as well as being less costly, Rossall said.
The $1 billion Wilshire Grand project includes office space, restaurants, retail and 900 luxury hotel rooms.
Topped by a 100-foot spire, the building is expected to be the tallest west of the Mississippi once it is completed in 2016.
The USC Trojans marching band will parade ahead of the first few concrete trucks before the start of the pour, which will be marked with a ceremony attended by Los Angeles area dignitaries, including state Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, State Sen. Kevin de Leon, Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Jose Huizar.
Korean Air's CEO Yang-ho Cho and architect Chris Martin of AC Martin Partners will also be on hand to oversee the event.—City News Service