Some of the “soft demolition” at the Washington Building will begin next week, Morris County engineer Stephen Hammond told the Morris freeholders Wednesday.
The county will demolish the building at the corner of Washington Street and Schuyler Place .
Hammond said crews from contractor LVI Demolition Services will begin asbestos removal and build a scaffolding starting next week. The project is expected to produce walking and traffic detours.
The scaffolding will cover the sidewalks alongside the building and create “New York City tunnels” through which pedestrians will walk, he said. The scaffolding will have walking spaces under working areas, he said.
The demolition is expected to take two to three months, Hammond said.
LVI Demolition submitted the low bid of $693,737 to take down the 50-year old structure. The Washington Building was first used as an office building, but most recently for storage.
The county has created new storage facilities in the former Central Avenue Complex, once a part of Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital at The Central Park of Morris County in Parsippany. A 2006 study of the Washington Building determined that it would cost more to rehabilitate the structure than tear it down.
The project is being partly funded through a $297,000 federal grant that must be used by September.
The pocket park will feature a 2 to 3 foot wall along Washington Street to separate the park from the sidewalk, and a line of shrubs on Washington, Schuyler and along the parking lot, plus several trees edging the parking lot facing Schuyler. The park will include four benches, as well as grassy areas.