By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Though crews are a month behind on the demolition of the Scott Street Parking Garage, city officials are still confident the project will be finished on time.
City Manager Jim Ferguson said equipment issues have delayed the project.
“There has been a delay due to a major equipment breakdown,” Ferguson said. “The structure was stronger than anticipated and caused damage to a concrete crusher. They brought in a second concrete crusher and the first has been repaired, so now there are two on the scene. They are about a month behind. However, progress has been great in the past week, and we are confident the structure will be completely demolished by the end of the October.”
Ferguson said he anticipates the entire project will still be finished by the end of the year.
“They will begin the terrace construction concurrent with the final stages of the demolition,” he said. “By the end of November, they will be doing reconstruction of the retainer walls. Everything but the paving will be done by the end of the year, which is good because the winter will give that area some time to settle before it is paved.”
Ferguson said the delays impacting the project were unavoidable.
“Things like this happen, but the weather has been nice lately and helped us speed things up,” he said. “There is now enough room to get more equipment into the area, where we couldn’t before. Because of that the work can go much faster.”
Mayor Linda Whalen said Swope Construction is overseeing the demolition and is still anticipating having the majority of the project completed on time.
“The plan on being able to complete the project with the exception of the paving in the allotted time,” Whalen said. “They will get the gravel down and the area ready so it can be paved when things warm up in the spring. That is actually a good thing because it will allow the area to harden and set before paving. They have also brought a second piece of equipment in to help speed up the project.”
Whalen said city officials are still satisfied with the job crews are doing on the demolition.
“They are working very hard,” she said. “This part is taking longer than we or the company anticipated. There have been weather issues and equipment failure, but things like that happen. It is just out of our control. They are still expecting to have the majority of the project done by the agreed open date.”
David Graham, project manager with Swope Construction, said work has been picking up on the project.
“We are running three to four weeks behind,” he said. “However, the demolition has picked up considerably this past week. This coming week will be very busy as we are doing excavation on Edward Terrace and will begin hauling off some of the larger chunks of debris from the demolition site. That debris will be processed. A lot of the rebar and other material will be recycled on the new construction on the site.”
The initial estimated completion date of the project is Jan. 1, 2013.
— Contact Kate Coil at firstname.lastname@example.org