Wall falls, crushes sidewalk barrier at D.C. redevelopment site

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – A wall collapsed at a demolition project along a busy D.C. sidewalk Thursday morning and it is raising safety questions.

Contractors were tearing down the wall of an old Giant supermarket in the 3300 block of Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest Washington when the wall fell.

A D.C. official says workers were trying to pull the wall into the construction site when part of it fell the other way, crushing part of a wooden structure built to protect the sidewalk and knocking down a traffic light.

No one was on that part of the sidewalk at the time and no one was injured. The rest of sidewalk along the construction site was shut down while an inspector review what happened.

Although initial reports indicated the sidewalk was not closed to pedestrians before the demolition, ANC Commissioner Carl Roller said in an email Friday that he spoke with the developer and was assured pedestrian traffic was stopped during the wall removal.

“This was to ensure that during this delicate phase of the demolition, there was no danger to the public and minimal damage to the immediately adjacent structures,” Roller relayed.

The old supermarket, a bank, a drug store and several retail stores are being demolished to prepare for a massive commercial and residential redevelopment project near Newark Street.

No citations were issued in the incident.

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