Cable Cars Aid QuikTrip Center's High Wire Repair Job

Monday, July 13th 2009, 4:55 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The cable cars on the roof of the QuikTrip Center are not a new ride for the state fair. They're work platforms for a unique high wire repair job that's about half done.

Ashley Friday is spending much of the summer in a cable car high over the fairgrounds.

There's a great view, but the downside is she's got to scrape and paint the cables holding up the car.

"The guys are doing the poly, which is the plastic and the metal and I do most of the painting and enjoy the view," said Ashley Friday, Empire Roofing.

The roof of the QuikTrip Center covers 10 acres. The problem is the cables that hold it up create a pathway for water to leak through.

The solution required Empire Roofing to come up with the cable cars to get workers where they needed to work.

"It took a little while to figure out and we've never been able to find anything like this that's been done in the United States," said Cliff Johnson, Empire Roofing.

The workers scrape off the rust and paint the cable.

Then they wrap a plastic sleeve around it and a stainless steel cover tops it off.

If it works as planned, it will keep water from seeping inside the cable and down through the roof.

It's a $1.5 million repair.

Each one these cables is 120 feet long. There are three on each beam and 39 beams on each side. In all, that's six miles of cable that has to be hand scraped, painted, coated and covered.

"And it should stay there and hail won't bother it and neither will age," said Cliff Johnson.

While the cable cars have helped make the job easier, they can't go back up once the waterproof job is done. So for these workers, it's a onetime trip to the top and back, that no one else will ever get to enjoy.

The heat adds to the work. The roof has reached 118 degrees. So, they start work each day at 5:30 a.m. They'll be done in another month.