• Like a ton of bricks
    By
     | April 10,2013
     
    Stefan Hard / Staff Photo

    Pedestrians use a sidewalk detour around an area in front of Aubuchon Hardware on Main Street in Montpelier where bricks continue to fall from the top of French's Block. The first signs of trouble came Sunday when a long board and the first bricks came tumbling down.

    MONTPELIER — Fire Chief Robert Gowans said Tuesday that it will be the end of the week before temporary repairs take place to stabilize the facade of the French's building downtown on Main Street. The city closed down the street and sidewalk in front of the building as well as the alleyway between Bagitos and the beginning of the block.

    “Yesterday DeWolfe (Engineering Associates) sent engineers who examined the building and removed anything that was loose or unstable,” said Gowans. “They will come back in two days to reassess the situation and we hope that everything will be stable enough that we can open up the street and sidewalk at that point.”

    The closure affects three storefronts: Aubuchon Hardware, whose corporate parent owns the building, Petals and Things, and Capitol Copy. All three businesses have entries at the rear of the building.

    An assistant manager at Aubuchon declined to comment on the situation. Gowans indicated that further work on the facade will have to take place, but that they are hopeful that when it comes time to do the bigger job, scaffolding will be set up in such a way to allow them to keep the sidewalks and storefronts open.

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