A Nick Nitka Publication
Mirro Aluminum is being demolished
MANITOWOC - A small sinkhole appeared, and was quickly repaired, in Franklin Street late Wednesday near the Mirro building demolition site. Community Development Director Nic Sparacio said they can’t be sure if the sinkhole was caused by the generous amounts of rain the area received recently, or if it was caused by the nearby demolition activities. The sinkhole was less than 12 inches across, and crews were able to close the street right away. Aside from that small situation, Sparacio said the demolition work has been going according to plan. Brandenburg has been working on taking down the interior areas of the building and sorting the materials on site. They plan to recycle any salvageable steel that can be found and then separate materials contaminated with asbestos and lead from materials that are not contaminated.
Road and lane closures have begun to keep vehicles and pedestrians safe in the areas surrounding the demolition site. South 15th Street between Franklin and Washington streets will be closed until July 31; South 16th Street between Franklin and Washington streets will be closed until Aug. 28; and Franklin Street between South 15th and South 16th streets will be closed Aug. 1-22. Both westbound lanes of Washington Street between South 15th and South 16th streets are closed until the end of the project, and both eastbound and westbound traffic on Washington Street have been routed to the eastbound lanes of Washington Street.
Sparacio said the work is “on track” to finishing by the end of August.
After the demolition is complete, more testing will be done on the site to find out what contaminates are in the soil and the groundwater. Once that happens, Sparacio said they will have a better idea of how to develop the 5-acre site.
“Our hope is that we will see some new construction on that site that is more to scale with the surrounding buildings,” Sparacio said in a previous USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin article.
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The Mirro building was constructed in 1909 and housed the Mirro Aluminum Company until it closed in 2003. Since then, it has changed hands frequently, leaving the building a dilapidated eyesore in an area of the city many want to see as a thriving downtown.
The City of Manitowoc acquired the property in 2016 and has since been moving forward with demolition plans. Environmental remediation of the building began near the end of 2016 to remove asbestos, lead, mercury and other contaminates from the site. The demolition began mid-June 2017.
The city has budgeted $3.3 million for the project — $2.4 million through city borrowing, a $398,000 grant from the Brownfield Advisory Committee and another $500,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
A live feed to view the work being done on the building is available on the city’s - YouTube page. The city also has a page on its website, www.manitowoc.org/2051/Whats-Happening-at-Mirro, dedicated to information about the Mirro project.