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  • Writer's pictureTodd Porter

Downtown Canton gets another iconic structure as football arches are set in place by Ironworkers

This week four iconic arches made the 500-mile journey from Wisconsin to Canton where they were erected in Centennial Plaza and forever changed the view of downtown Canton. The steel football-like arches appear to protrude from the earth, 80 feet skyward, and form the cone of a football. The steel structures each weigh about 11,000 pounds.

It crews from the Local Ironworkers 550 two days to set the four arches in place using cranes to lift them from flatbed trucks. Market Avenue was closed for chunks of Wednesday and Thursday to allow for the work to be complete.

Not long ago, another iconic fixture was set in place with the new "Canton" sign being put in place inside Centennial Plaza, the $12.3 million public-private project that started long before anyone ever heard the phrase COVID-19. Canton Mayor Tom Bernabei told us the original plan was to host a large "local" celebration over this Labor Day weekend with music, entertainment, and fireworks. The coronavirus pandemic ruined that; like it has much of the 2020 fun.

That didn't stop a handful of people from watching the new structures go up Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon.

The cafe in the plaza, which will be operated by Jerzee's All American Sports Grille owner Chris Maggiore, is near completion. The rooftop of the cafe is covered with cool-looking greenery.

Yes, Canton likely will have to wait until 2021 to properly open Centennial Plaza.

Crews would have been working around the clock, likely, to finish the project for the planned Sept. 17 dedication. Now they have some time to finish the work. For those of us fortunate enough to see the project progress from a hole in the ground to this iconic park and attraction downtown, it has been awe-inspiring.

The two pictures below are courtesy of downtown Canton supporter Steve Cress. The first one is what Centennial Plaza looked like in September of 2019 when construction started. And the picture below that is a look at what it was just a month later, in October 2019.

And the final picture was taken Sept 3, 2020. This is what we have today.

Be sure to check out all the pictures from the structure going up and changing downtown Canton (click through the slideshow), as well as our video of the first two structures being put in place.

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