GARDINER — On Monday afternoon, the constant din of traffic and the rushing water in the Cobbosseecontee Stream nearly drowned out the sound of heavy equipment starting to take apart the T.W. Dick fabrication shed on Summer Street.

By the end of December, that lot and the two other former T.W. Dick lots with buildings will be cleared of structures and demolition debris, and they will be ready for the next step in their redevelopment.

Plans now call for a medical arts building and affordable senior and workforce housing to be built on the site.

The demolition is the second part of a three-phase process that was put out to bid in October on the city’s behalf by Ransom Consulting. Gardiner city officials hired the firm to work on the cleanup of these parcels.

Earlier this month, workers from EnviroVantage, of New Hampshire, started clearing the parcels of contaminants. McGee Construction of West Gardiner will complete the earth work next spring. Workers from J.E. Butler LLC of Holden staged their equipment on the site, and by Monday afternoon they were peeling back the corrugated metal of the shed and pulling the roof supports off and stacking them on site.

To the extent possible, the building materials on these parcels are expected to be recycled, Jaime Madore, Ransom Consulting’s project engineer said.

“The metal goes to Grimmel Industries in Topsham,” Madore said, “and the rest of the debris is slated to head to the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town.”

After work on the fabrication shed is completed, she said, the workers will move on to the cold storage building, which is closer to Bridge Street. The final building to come down will be the office building at 1 Summer St., which is a high visibility location at the edge of Bridge Street, not far from Gardiner’s downtown.

“The site will be tidied up for the winter, and the buildings will be down,” Madore said. “It will look 100 times better.”

As a part of this project, city officials have, with the assistance of the Gardiner Board of Trade, acquired 2 Highland Ave. just north of 1 Summer St. In the real estate transaction, the Board of Trade has agreed to have the vacant house on Highland Avenue demolished.

Nate Cotnoir, of the Board of Trade, said his organization is working with a separate contractor, who is refining the estimate on the demolition cost. Cotnoir said Monday he hopes the demolition work starts soon.

For Roger Beaulieu of West Gardiner, the redevelopment of the site is a great idea. Stopping briefly at the U.S. Postal Service office on Water Street, he said he’s looking forward to the construction that’s expected to take place.

“What a big improvement it will be, once they get the new bridge built,” Beaulieu said. “Isn’t it always better to have a place that looks nice?”

Beaulieu was referring to plans by the Maine Department of Transportation to replace the Bridge Street bridge in 2018.

Just about a year ago, city officials identified Developers Collaborative as the developer of the medical arts building on the brownfields site on Summer Street. Since then, company officials have inked option deals on two other Summer Street parcels for affordable senior and workforce housing.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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