First steel column of Fiat Chrysler plant's paint shop raised in Detroit

The first column of steel of the paint shop of the Fiat Chrysler assembly plant on Detroit's eastside was raised Tuesday. 

The paint shop and two other already existing buildings under renovation will make up the plant which will be the first new assembly plant built in Detroit since 1991.

"A major milestone for a new paint shop at Mack," said John Powell, senior manager of paint facilities at FCA.

The gigantic steel column made its debut Tuesday.

"Erect the first column of steel for the new paint shop building. There are a total of 299 vertical columns and this is the first," Powell said.

The Local Union No. 25 is responsible for putting up the first column.

"Monumental. We haven't had a brand new facility like this in decades. To see this first beam go up, it's great," said Anthony Ramos.

It's also an opportunity to put Detroiters to work. Fiat Chrysler is expected to add 3,850 jobs at the new plant. Another 1,100 new jobs will be added at the nearby Jefferson North Assembly plant which will be retooled and modernized.

This isn't the only construction work moving full speed ahead at this site. During a walking tour Tuesday, Fox 2 cameras got an up close view as work continues on the sound barrier wall going up between the plant and the neighborhood.

"Out here done a lot of uplift activity including floor polishing, cleaning and demolition," said Eric Goedtel, senior project manager at FCA.

As all the constitution continues, environmental safety is key. In fact, the paint shop that's going up at the Mack assembly plant will have the lowest emission of any full assembly plant in the U.S.

The vehicles slated to be assembled at the plant are the next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and a three-row, full-size Jeep SUV and plug-in hybrid models. 

"They're going to be working around the clock. We're trying to get building done by first quarter of next year," Powell said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.