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The Telegram
  • Fay Street warehouse to be imploded Feb. 9

  • The concrete warehouse at 609 Fay St. that has stood for decades finally is coming down.
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  • The concrete warehouse at 609 Fay St. that has stood for decades finally is coming down.
    On Sunday Feb. 9, contractors will be done setting charges in the building's columns. And between 7 and 8:30 a.m. one lucky individual might get to push the button, setting off a controlled implosion.
    The city and the state are trying to set up a lottery where residents can pay for a chance to push the button and implode tons of concrete and steel.
    If the lottery gets set up in time, the proceeds will go toward the city's Youth Bureau.
    Since late fall, the department has been performing asbestos abatement on the building and gaping holes have appeared where concrete has been removed.
    The building is the last of nearly 60 structures that is being demolished to make way for the new North-South Arterial.
    "The project is going along smoothly, right according to schedule," said spokesman Jimmy Piccola.
    Several weeks ago, the state mailed letters to area businesses and homeowners about what they might expect and what they'll have to do to stay out of the way.
    The state has set up two zones around the building. Residents and businesses within 500 feet of the building will be required to leave the area.
    City police, firefighters and state police will be involved in the evacuation process, as well as securing the surrounding area.
    Those within 1,000 feet of the building will be asked to stay indoors. The state will have a staging and viewing area for evacuated residents to stay during the demolition.
    Court Street resident Chris Robinton said he received a letter from the state weeks ago asking him to stay inside during the demolition, but since he has to work, he won't be around to watch the building fall.
    "With all the chaos, I wouldn't want to be around here anyway," he said
    Councilman David Testa, D-2, said his main concerns for removing the building are any potential traffic problems.
    "I'm just glad it's coming down," he said. "But we're getting the money for it and that's what counts."
    Right now, the arterial curves around the building, nearly brushing up against the mammoth structure.
    Once the building is down, the new section of the arterial will run over where the building formerly stood and continue just west of where the highway stands now.
    The raised portion of the highway will continue past Court Street to just before Sunset Avenue.
    The project will serve as a gateway to the new nanotechnology developments in Marcy, said Mayor Robert Palmieri.
    "With the advent of Utica-Nano coming to our region, it is essential that we have a state-of-the-art highway to serve as the gateway to our newly arriving state-of-the-art facilities," he said in an emailed statement. "The demolition of the Fay Street warehouse building is the next step in making this a reality."
    Page 2 of 2 - At least one business is making the most of it.
    Stiefvater Martini Bar employees and a few regulars will gather on its roof for coffee and doughnuts to the big boom.
    "How often do we have an implosion in Utica?" said owner Steve Klosek. "We'll have a great view."
    Arterial timeline
    March 2013: Contractors begin demolishing homes and other structures in West Utica.
    November 2013: The last home is demolished, partially damaging another when it falls.
    February 2014: The last of roughly 60 structures, a commercial warehouse, will be demolished.
    Spring/Summer 2014: A $53 million contract for highway reconstruction will begin. Visible construction should begin in July.
    August 2014: The pedestrian bridge over the arterial near Sunset Avenue is expected to be completed.
    2014-2016: Construction of the new arterial and the replacement of four bridges. Contractors will raise the arterial over the Court Street intersection and replace several bridges. A number of smaller side projects, including on-ramp work and a multi-use trail will be completed as well.
    Spring 2017: The entire reconstruction project should finish by early 2017.
    Project Highlights
    * The new North-South Arterial will run west of the existing one from over Oriskany Street to just south of Sunset Avenue.
    * Lincoln Avenue will be re-routed to State Street.
    * A new intersection connecting Champlin Avenue to Oriskany Street West now exists.
    * The Fay Street warehouse will come down through implosion.
    * A multi-use trail will run from Sunset Avenue to Oriskany Boulevard and down to Utica Memorial Auditorium.
    * The elevated portion of the arterial will be extended past Court Street and a new intersection will be built there.
    * There also will be access to Varick Street from Oriskany Boulevard.
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