Debris removal continues

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 12, 2007


Progress continued Thursday on cleanup of a building on Water Avenue that collapsed in June 2006.

Passersby slowed down to watch as the Selma Fire Department used a bucket crane to remove materials from the site, including loose bricks and wood that posed a potential hazard as work on the building continues.

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An independently contracted company was on hand to handle debris from the project.

“This is merely a safety precaution,” said Patti Sexton of the City of Selma Office of Planning and Development.

“You have to understand it’s a process. We’re going to take down what’s dangerous right now and stabilize the rest of the building,” Sexton said. “It’s like dominoes or tinker toys – you take out the wrong one and they all fall down.”

First-floor beams and the entire second floor has to be removed before work on the building can continue.

The building immediately west of the collapsed building needs to be stabilized, officials said, and a retaining wall must be put up against the former furniture store location, now known as G.A.W. Trading Post.

The actual collapse happened in late 2006.

A faade that was put up earlier to front the original structure fell face-down into the street around 8 a.m. within the first week of June, taking with it three quarters of the building next door. No one was injured.

Since that time, structural engineers and the city’s environmental consultant have studied the site to make sure the demolition project can go forward. Work on the building is slated to resume around the middle of November.