The deconstruction of the old Maryland Hotel (Conklin Hotel) in downtown Hannibal has encountered another complication. According to Ron Bricker, project coordinator with Bricker Excavating/Demolition which purchased the building last fall, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has gotten involved in the project.
“They had some concerns expressed to them and they wanted to look at what was going on with the building,” he said, adding he was “very surprised” when OSHA showed up.
Air and material samples were taken from the basement and first floor.
“They’ve done their own tests and had it sent off to have it checked to see if there are some more hazardous materials,” said Bricker, who is not overly concerned regarding what OSHA’s tests might reveal. “We expect it’s going to be fine, but if somebody says something they’ve got to go check it out, so that’s what they’re looking at now.”
The OSHA rep indicated it would take “about two weeks before we had our notification as to what they found,” said Bricker.
A phone message left with OSHA’s St. Louis office seeking comment for this story was not returned.
Work at 314-16-18 Broadway has not come to a standstill because of OSHA’s tests.
“We are able to progress with the top part of the building, from the roof down to the bottom of the second floor. Once they give us the OK the rest of it will come out,” said Bricker. “It’s frustrating to know that when I get down to the first floor we’ll have to stop. I hope they’ve got their stuff completed so we can continue because we’d like to wrap this up.”
A big step in the demolition process could take place this weekend.
“This Saturday, if it doesn’t rain, the roof is going to be rolled off,” said Bricker. “Then they (public) will actually start seeing it come down.”
Bricker regularly receives phone calls from people curious about the project.
“People are like, ‘Why is it not done?’” he said. “They don’t understand we had about four months (of delay) with the phone lines. Then we had to go through the (asbestos) abatement and process of getting authorization (to proceed) from the state. It’s been a long drawn out process, and now we’ve got OSHA we’re dealing with. As soon as OSHA gets done hopefully we’ll be able to take the first floor and basement out and be done with it.”
Page 2 of 2 - Bricker is optimistic that once all the obstacles have been cleared the project can be completed in 30 days.