Excavator tips during demolition of downtown Parkersburg buildings

Photo by Wayne Towner Demolition work at the corner of Fourth and Market streets was underway Saturday when one of the excavators tipped on its side. The equipment was later restored to its tracks and work was expected to continue through the weekend. Traffic on Fourth Street and the 400 block of Market Street was closed by the Parkersburg Police Department while the work continued.

PARKERSBURG — Demolition work on a pair of old buildings at Fourth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg got underway Friday.

An accident on the site Saturday morning caused some delay in the work and caused the Parkersburg Police Department to close traffic on Fourth Street and the 400 block of Market Street for several hours Saturday.

Police Chief Joe Martin said the contractor, Empire Builders, had two excavators working on the site Saturday morning beginning demolition work when the basement of one of the buildings collapsed, causing one of the excavators to fall on its side, at the same time clipping a guide wire on a nearby utility pole.

Martin said no injuries occurred and the fallen excavator was restored to its correct position within an hour. A temporary repair was made on the utility pole but the streetlight at Fourth and Market streets was hanging lower than usual putting it in danger of being struck by taller trucks so traffic was routed away from that section of Fourth Street and Market Street through the day while the demolition work was being done, he said.

At different periods on Saturday when traffic was backing up on Fourth Street, Martin said police officers were turning off the traffic lights at Fifth and Juliana and other locations in downtown to provide manual traffic control as a way to reduce traffic jams and keep traffic flowing.

Photo provided by Stephanie Cooper An excavator tipped on its side during the demolition of a pair of old buildings at Fourth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg

The demolition work was scheduled to continue around the clock until completed, Martin said. The blocked sections of Fourth and Market streets were re-opened late Saturday afternoon, he said.

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