Posted Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

“Soft” demolition work is underway at the county-owned Washington Building at the corner of Washington Street and Schuyler Place in Morristown.

Fencing is being installed in the area and some asbestos is being removed from the building’s interior, said Stephen W. Hammond, Director of the Department of Public Works.

Within the next two weeks, scaffolding will be going up along Washington Street, closing the sidewalk along that street, Hammond said.

Once the scaffolding is in place, the sidewalk will be reopened to pedestrians who will be able to walk under the scaffolding and be protected by a roof while work is taking place above the sidewalk, said Freeholder Gene Feyl, freeholder liaison to Public Works. However, the sidewalk on Schuyler Place will be closed as work on the project continues through the summer.

The Washington Building, thought to have been built in 1957, is a former office building that had in recent years been used by the county as a storage facility, but is now obsolete and too costly to renovate, Feyl said.

In its place, Feyl said, the county will build a “pocket park” on the site, complete with some trees and park benches.

The county expects disruption to Washington Street traffic to be minimal during the length of the project. According to Hammond, if lane closings are necessary they would occur during off peak hours or on a Saturday.

The demolition work is being done by LVI Demolition Services of East Hanover.