BERLIN – The intersection of William and Main streets will be blocked for a few weeks once reconstruction work on the PNC Bank in downtown Berlin begins in the near future.
“It [construction] could start within a week,” Police Chief Arnold Downing told the Mayor and Council on Monday night.
Due to the extensive work needed, Downing explained that the intersection in front of the bank would likely be blocked for a significant amount of time, probably between two and three weeks.
The PNC Bank branch was struck by a car in October, resulting in massive damage. Reconstruction has been on hold for weeks while the large stain glass window, which was one of the most recognizable features of the bank, was being repaired.
“It [the window] is the focal point of construction,” Planning and Zoning Director Chuck Ward said.
In explaining the long wait for reconstruction, Ward said, “There are very few stain glass repair places.”
While the two- or three-week blockage of the intersection is significant, Ward expressed doubt that it would be blocked all day every day during that period.
“They [repair crews] won’t be working 24-seven,” he said.
However, he did admit that he wasn’t sure if heavy equipment or extensive demolition at the site might force the intersection to remain closed even during periods when no crews are working.
There was some concern that repair work being done on the Goober’s building near PNC might coincide with the bank’s reconstruction and require large sections of road to be closed. However, Ward said that the demolition portion of repairs to Goober’s had already been completed.
“There’s no danger of anything falling at this point,” he said, adding that no streets or intersections would be affected by repair work at Goober’s at this point.
Ward also cleared up a misconception about Goober’s restaurant being closed or otherwise impacted by the construction going on at the location.
“Where they’re working is vacant,” said Ward, going on to say that the restaurant was on the other side of a loadbearing wall from the portion of the building being repaired and would not be affected by the work.
“There are no structural issues on Goober’s side of the wall,” he said.