BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Repairs being done to a downtown building could result in the closure of Eighth Street until spring.
Structural repairs on the outside of the building owned by Bryan Humphrey at the corner of Eighth Street and Avenue G are being done to secure the brick, but Fort Madison’s Building Director Doug Krogmeier said it’s his understanding shoring is being done inside the building as well.
City officials put additional barricades on the Avenue G side of the building last week. Krogmeier said those were added as another safety precaution.
“In our conversations with the engineer, if something significant did happen while they’re shoring up the inside, it could cause an air pressure change that could blow out some windows,” Krogmeier said,
“They are going to put in a shoring wall from the ground floor to the roof and when that’s done we should be able to open Avenue G up.”
But Krogmeier said until all the other repairs completed properly, 8th Street will remain closed.
He said, per conversations with the engineer that Humphrey has hired, the shoring wall should stabilize the building and then the additional repairs can be done.
“I see it as a crutch. It’s a structural leg that will hold the rest of the building in place. We’re getting that done first. We haven’t come to a conclusion on how the brick repair is going to go, but that shoring needs to be done first,” Krogmeier said Thursday.
“It’s my understanding they’re doing some of that shoring now.”
Humphrey also has a building on 9th Street north of the alley between avenues G and F in which part of the garage exterior collapsed. The city still has barricades under where a tarp exits in place of a southern second floor wall.
Krogmeier said Humphrey was given the same order to clean that up, but he said he’s not concerned if that garage were to fall down.
“If this other comes down there’s an animal there and we’re focusing on that right now.”
Currently 8th Street is blocked off from the alley between avenues H and G north to Avenue G, with a rental lift sitting in the barricaded area and wooden supports and plywood holding some of the exterior wall in place.