Danville demolishes one of buildings for Fairchild subway project

DANVILLE — On Monday, crews demolished one of the two buildings on property the city recently purchased from Schomburg and Schomburg construction to make way for the Fairchild Street subway replacement project.

Public Works Director Doug Ahrens said the city had no desirable use for the brick two-story building at 809 E. Fairchild St. and did not want to preserve it for some other use. The city purchased the Schomburg property earlier this year for $500,000, because plans for the new Fairchild overpass would have cut off the entrance to the business.

The city will keep the other building on the property, Ahrens said, but hasn't determined a use for it yet. It may be used for staging of construction workers during the subway replacement project, he said. The demolition is being funded with dollars from the city's 2009 bond issue, which has paid for a lot of the pre-construction costs of the estimated $20 million, two-year construction project.

The plan is to replace the deteriorating Fairchild subway tunnel, which was closed permanently last year for safety reasons, with an overpass that will carry vehicles and pedestrians over several rail lines. The almost-100-year-old tunnel carried traffic under those lines. City officials expect to bid the project this spring with construction slated to begin as soon as possible.

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