Crews prepare for garage expansion, recycle demolition debris

Published 10:18 am Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Albert Lea Street Department is demolishing a building with the environment and taxpayers in mind.

The department is demolishing the former storage building and apartment at 1016 Madison Ave., adjacent to City Garage, in preparation for an expansion of the garage.

Employees are demolishing the site between periods of snow and ice removal, saving the city direct costs of using an outside contractor to demolish the building, said civil and environmental engineer Phil Wacholz.

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“It’s been a good project to fill in their time during this time of year,” he said.

“The Street Department is exhibiting good stewardship and responsible use of resources, all while saving money at the same time.”

Demolished materials were segregated. Steel siding and the roof were stripped from the structure and recycled, Wacholz said. Usable lumber was stripped from the structure for use on city projects such as concrete formwork.

There have been 17 truckloads of demolition material and nine truckloads of metal recycling that have been generated from demolition, Wacholz said.

“We weren’t able to save it all, but we were able to strip a lot of it so that they could use it for other city projects, like concrete forming or other stuff that they need rough lumber for,” he said.

The city was able to recoup $1,400 from metal recycling, Wacholz said.

Demolition started in mid-January. Employees are jackhammering the floor, and demolition is expected to be finished in about 11 days.

First phase City Garage development includes having one break room and converting the two other break rooms into additional storage and workspace to increase efficiency.

The city purchased the 2.5-acre parcel from Duane Johnson in May 2016.

Phase two of the project would add fleet space for city vehicles. The flow for all of the vehicles is planned to be improved and a salt storage shed would be added.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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