The Brant News had as a heading to one article: "Demolition Enters Home Stretch". As anyone who has wandered around the downtown, it's true, the buildings are gone and now its simply a matter of removing the last of the wreckage. I decided to take a walk along Wharf Street this morning to check out what was left:
I don't know, in a way, it's kind of pretty in that 'bombed out city' kind of pretty.
As I look at my calendar, its now October. This is sort of important because we should expect more of the autumn rains to hit. I recall an article from early this year which quoted the Mayor of Brantford as discussing the time table:
It paid about $9.2 million for the properties. In total, it is expected to cost about $13.7 million to buy and raze the buildings. Hancock expects the buildings will be gone, the site graded and planted with grass by July. Shortly afterward Hancock expects the site will be redeveloped by the university, the Y and Mohawk College.
“I don't think there will be much of a delay, quite frankly,” Hancock said.
I realize reality of February and the reality of June are too different things. Yes the demolition is complete and right now there is talk and action regarding the stabilization of the slope. Another quote from the Brant News:
The focus of city staff is now turning to what follows completion of demolition and slope stabilization. Lawson said fencing, repaired sidewalks and street lighting are the absolute minimum fixes planned by staff.
“We’ve had a landscape architect come down and look at the project,” she said. “With the type of slope stability we are doing, we are hoping to tier it so we can put more vegetation and planting in there and maybe some lookouts.”
With no immediate plans for development, Lawson said the city want to make the south side a pleasing landscape.
“We don’t know how long it could be there,” she said. “It could be two years, it could be 10 years.”
Money for post-demolition work can be drawn from a south side fund council created in 2008. There is $780,000 left in the account after council took $220,000 to cover cost overruns for demolition work.
Again, let's compare the reality, before the thought was the partnerships would happen quickly and new construction could happen immediately. It almost sounded like as the bulldozers were tearing up one building, construction on replacement would be happening right beside it. Now the time frame is going to be reckoned by the decade.
What happens in the immediate is the question. Those rains are coming and as I recall, rain+no vegetation=erosion.
I'm not a landscape architect so I have no idea about things such as slope stabilization and the sort, however I do wonder is there sufficient time to lay sod and to plant some sort of shrubbery to bring about stabilization. I do know laying down the sod is easy but is there time to it to become established before the snow hits or will everything end up on IComm Drive come the spring thaw?
The repair to the sidewalk and adding the light fixtures are comparatively easy. It's just a matter of getting crews out there for the work, its the rest I am now concerned with.
I was going to write about my thoughts for the land, I'll save that for another blog.