Demolition Safety

Having paused briefly to allow Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene to blow through, JMA is now proceeding with demolition of the buildings!

NASDI equipment begins demolition at K-Mart

With heavy equipment working in and around the site, safety is paramount, and everyone needs to do their part.  JMA has safely enclosed the entire site inside a fence that has numerous signs directing pedestrians and traffic to the appropriate detour:

  • Pedestrians from the south, north and east should use the sidewalk that runs from Petco all the way to Holton Street to get through the site, or to access Star Market and other shops.  If coming from the west, there is a pedestrian walkway now painted into the Brighton Mills entrance way to safely allow walkers to get to the shops.
  • The service alleyway between K-Mart and Frugal Fannies is closed to all non-construction access.  Cars should use Everett Street during working hours.  Litchfield Street is open to vehicular traffic during non-working hours.
  • The McDonald’s reconstruction project is also happening in the Brighton Mills area, temporarily altering the ingress/egress along Western and from Everett

For the remainder of 2011, the site will be a flurry of demolition, excavation and construction activity–please be aware of the signs that help provide safe access.  Beginning in late December, a new street and public sidewalk will cut right through the middle of the site with Charlesview construction isolated on one side, providing for the safe access to and through Brighton Mills.

Demolition Kicks into High Gear

In the past month, we’ve made progress here and there, underground and with the City.  But next week, progress on the physical transformation of the Brighton Mills site will become much more apparent: the two existing buildings, formerly housing the Frugal Fannies clothier and K-Mart and Office Max stores, are coming down.  Read on for details on timing and neighborhood impacts.

Interior demolition begins late this week.  Early next week, the heavy equipment from demolition contractor NASDI will arrive on site and begin tearing the walls and roof of the buildings down.

JMA is taking a number of measures to mitigate the demolition impacts, including:

  • a “rodent blitz” by a professional exterminator prior to demo to minimize displaced vermin (this should be minimal, since the buildings don’t have basements and the site is paved, prohibiting burrows)
  • planning demolition to occur from the parking lot side and progress toward the Holton and Litchfield Street sides, so that the existing walls can keep dust and noise contained to the site
  • extensive coordination with utilities to shut down live feeds and prepare for safe demolition
  • a barrier fence will be erected along the Litchfield Street curb to keep pedestrians off that side of the street; the fence will be covered with solid wood panels to isolate the site from the neighbors

In accordance with the Construction Management Plan, beginning Monday morning parking will be prohibited on side of Litchfield adjacent to the construction site to facilitate demolition and construction.  “No Parking” signage is going up this week to give parkers advance notice.

TCB will set up a meeting in the neighborhood soon as a check-in on development progress and construction impacts.  In the meantime, neighbors with questions or comments should feel free to contact us.

Shutting, Cutting, Capping and Pulling

Some long-awaited news on construction progress at the end of this post, but first, a note on process:

Like most cities, Boston has a series of safeguards to ensure that workers and neighbors are protected from potential accidents caused by building demolition, and none of this could begin until Charlesview formally took ownership of the buildings at the end of June.  Prior to taking down an existing building, contractors must pull a demolition permit from the City’s Inspectional Services Department.  Before pulling the permit, the contractor must go through the buildings and prepare for demolition.  Then begins a process with each public utility:

  • request a shutoff of the individual services
  • verify that they have been shut off and account balances paid
  • dig up the service feed from the public street to the individual property meters and physically cut and cap the utility line
  • have the work inspected and approved by a formal letter from the utility

Once all that is complete. the letters are combined with other submittals to the City as the formal Demolition Permit package.

…And now the good news: on Friday, JMA received the demolition permit for 400 Western Ave (the former K-Mart building).  The permit for the former Frugal Fannies building should follow this week.  Building demolition is imminent!  Check back soon for updates.