Demolition of downtown sidewalk canopy will begin soon

photo by: Nick Krug

KB & Co. workers Haley Hamke, left, and Madison Murphy stop to glance at a humorous piece of paper advocating for the canopy over a walkway behind the west side of the 800 block of Massachusetts Street to remain, Thursday, May 31, 2018.

A one-block covered walkway in downtown Lawrence is set to be removed beginning next week.

Demolition and other work will begin Monday on the pedestrian canopy, sidewalks and underground infrastructure in the walkway alley that runs behind the buildings that make up the 800 block of Massachusetts Street, the city said in a news release.

Some of the parking spaces in the adjacent city lot along Vermont Street will be closed incrementally as demolition begins near Ninth Street and proceeds north toward Eighth Street, the city said. The southern end of the parking lot will be closed for the duration of the project, which is expected to be complete in September, weather permitting, the city said.

Originally, the city planned to replace the approximately 50-year-old canopy, but Structures Manager Jason Stowe previously told the Journal-World that the city found that the canopy needed to be taken down to make the sidewalk and storm sewer repairs and that reconstruction costs would far exceed the cost of demolition and repairs alone. The estimated cost of the repair and demolition project, without a replacement canopy, is about $460,000.

When preparations for the project began last year, some of the businesses in the 800 block of Massachusetts Street said that the canopy benefited businesses and downtown visitors by providing protection from sun and rain and that they did not want to see it go.

Related stories

Aug. 29, 2018 — Mistake in bidding process causes delay in downtown canopy removal

June 1, 2018 — Some businesses opposed to city’s plan to remove downtown Lawrence sidewalk canopy


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