BRAWLEY — Demolition of the burnt former structure of Superior Furniture will begin today, as the first move to clearing the area.
The action was addressed by City Manager Rosanna Moore during the City’s Council meeting Tuesday evening.
After more than a month, the city will be demolishing the historic building after the structure was engulfed in flames Sept. 14.
The demolition will begin from 7 to 4 today, with the city scheduled to close off North Plaza from Main Street to North Fifth Street. Additional work is planned for Thursday if the project isn’t completed by the end of the day, explained City Public Works Director Yazmin Arellano.
“It’s anticipated that it’s only going to be closed for one day, so we’re very hopeful that that will happen,” Arellano said.
As a result, the city, with consultation from the California Department of Transportation, will consider removing the arcade that crosses over the pedestrian sidewalk and reopening the second lane on Main Street adjacent to the damaged structure.
“While this isn’t a perfect solution from the point of view of removing all of the debris of the burnt structure, it does give us an opportunity to improve access,” Moore said. “We’re hoping this provides some relief.”
The city intends to continue to work with the surrounding businesses, until all debris is cleared. Moore said.
“I’m glad to see it’s moving forward,” Mayor George Nava commented.
The recent Oct. 4 structure fire on the corner of North Eighth Street and G Street was addressed by the council as well.
Several businesses have been affected by the closures created by the incident.
“El Sol Market owner has addressed to me that he is trying to be patient but that the closure of the roadway has definitely negatively impacted his business, and in light of the concerns he raised, we’re doing our best to restrict the limitations on movement … and we are evaluating if partial reopening is possible,” Moore said.
El Sol Market estimates a 25 percent drop in business, Moore said.
Imperial County Environmental Health has also raised concerns about the property, Moore noted.
“We do expect to hear some feedback from them about methods of expediting the demolition that may not be otherwise available for the city of Brawley,” Moore said.
Much of the city’s concern with clearing the area comes from confusion of ownership of the property as the two owners are deceased, and normal city protocol requires owner notification prior to demolition, Moore explained.
A standalone council action item is scheduled for next week’s meeting, which will address the city’s direction in clearing the area and further investigating demolition and fencing of the burnt structure.
Staff Writer Celeste Alvarez can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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