If Ron Bricker had his way, demolition of the old Maryland Hotel (Conklin Hotel) at 314-16-18 Broadway in downtown Hannibal would be well under way. However, Bricker Excavating/Demolition, which purchased the building last fall, is being forced to bide its time.
“The problem is that the phone company has got phone lines that go to city hall that run through the building (old hotel) and on the building,” said Bricker, project coordinator with the excavating/demolition company. “And from what I understand the phone lines also go to a bunch of businesses downtown.”
On Friday afternoon, Bricker said it was an “unknown time frame” as to when the phone company - Southwestern Bell - would complete a necessary engineering study and begin relocating the lines. On Monday, Bricker reported being told the phone company will start its work on Thursday, Jan. 17. It is estimated that Southwestern Bell’s work will take a “week or two” to complete.
“Until they get that done we cannot do anything (demolition) in there because if we disrupt city hall (phones) and (phone service at) all the businesses we’re going to have a bit of a problem,” said Bricker.
Another step in the demolition process is to have an asbestos inspection of the structure completed.
“We’ve had the inspection done and we’re having the (asbestos) abatement done now,” said Bricker.
Most all other prep work has been completed, according to Bricker.
“We’re ready to move on it,” he said. “We’ve done as much as we can possibly do right now. Once the lines come off then we can start disassembling the building.”
According to Tina Bartz, management assistant in the Public Works Department, after all the asbestos has been cleared and the phone lines have been relocated, “they will start by removing the roof off the building. Their estimated time will be around the end of January. That’s when we will see signs of the roof being removed.”