Weather holds key to pace of demolition

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LEWISTON – Crews should start breaking down the 85-foot boom excavator on Lisbon Street on Saturday, but demolition work still has a few days to go.

The city plans to reopen one lane in front of the burned site next week.

The weather over the weekend will determine how quickly crews can finish dismantling and removing the last bricks from the New England Furniture building.

“If we have ideal weather for the next three days, we could have part of Lisbon Street open by the middle of next week,” said Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau.

The New England Furniture building was one of four damaged by a Dec. 20 fire. It is the last to be torn down. Crews began dismantling its neighbors, the Kora, Cressey and Greely buildings, two days before Christmas.

Lisbon Street has been closed between Pine and Ash streets since the fire.

Workers have removed all but one wall from the New England Furniture building and don’t need their biggest piece of heavy equipment, a Volvo 460 excavator with an 85-foot boom and a grappling hook. Crews from Costello Dismantling Inc. will move it off-site and should have a smaller excavator ready to go by Tuesday.

“One of the biggest things keeping Lisbon Street closed has been that big excavator,” Nadeau said. “With a smaller one on site, it should be able to keep working, but let us open one lane.”

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