Demolition stepping up at flood-damaged officesBy WILSON RING
The Associated Press | November 29,2013MONTPELIER — Demolition at the flood-damaged former state office complex in Waterbury is shifting into high gear with most interior work done and one building already gone as part of a $125 million project that will restore part of the offices and construct a new building above the flood line.
So far, from Main Street, there is little to see of the work being done behind the fence that surrounds the project. Much of the construction is happening inside the buildings that are set to be demolished, said Michael Stevens, the special project administrator for the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services.
About 125 workers are on the site, and the demolition of the building that once contained the state laboratory is due to start next week. The bidding process for the construction is underway, and some work is expected to begin in February with full-bore construction slated for the spring, Stevens said.
“There is a buzz on this campus. We are making progress. The work has started, and it feels energized,” Stevens said.
When Tropical Storm Irene flooded the Winooski River on Aug. 28, 2011, the river crept into the complex, forcing the evacuation of the Vermont State Hospital and requiring more than 1,000 state workers to find new offices. The only major building still in use from before the storm is the Public Safety Building.
The local economy took a hit after the workers disappeared overnight. Finding permanent locations for the displaced offices and paying for it was one of Vermont’s biggest challenges in recovering from the storm.
In August, coinciding with the second anniversary of the storm, state and federal officials finalized the plans for the complex.
The total cost of damage and repairs at the Waterbury complex is estimated at about $225 million. That includes the cost of building a new Vermont state hospital, now underway in Berlin, and paying for the temporary offices used by Waterbury workers displaced by Irene.
The revived Waterbury complex will house about 900 employees of the Agency of Human Services.
The new office building is being built about 6 inches above the estimated 500-year flood level and a full 3 feet above the level during Irene, Stevens said.
“If Irene occurs again, we won’t be back in the complex the next day,” Stevens said. “We’re going to have to clean up the roadways, clean up the site, but we sure won’t be out of this complex for years. We’ll be out of this complex for a week or two.”MORE IN National / World BusinessWASHINGTON — The Supreme Court was sharply divided Wednesday in the latest challenge to President... Full StoryNEW YORK — There was a time you could count on phones getting larger each year. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- talk-pix.com PODCASTS TEMPORARILY DISABLED: Navigate browser to talk-pix.com to access complete ALMANACK archive.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown