A couple houses are all that is left standing on land off Freemans Bridge Road set to be the new home of Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse.
They won’t there for long as Pike Construction will soon raze the 20-acre parcel to build a 157,000-square-foot store across Dutch Meadows Lane from the Super Wal-Mart store. Site work started in late September after Lowe’s purchased the property from Raymond Piotrowski for $3.1 million.
Pike has begun clearing the site. One house visible from Freemans Bridge Road and another one behind it remain.
Town Planning Director Kevin Corcoran said the company has obtained demolition permits. The house visible from the road lies above a ground contamination plume of perchloroethylene (PCE), an industrial solvent commonly used by dry cleaners.
The plume does not affect the Lowe’s site itself, but the site where project officials had discussed a 12,000-square-foot building for either restaurant or retail use.
Corcoran said the state Department of Environmental Conservation has pretty much defined the plume and the extent of the contamination. “They’re trying to find culpability to determine how it’s going to be cleaned up and to what degree and who’s going to be responsible,” he said.
Town Building Inspector Paul Borisenko said Lowe’s has hired an outside firm to develop a plan for construction work in the area of contamination. As of last week, the plan had not been completed. He believed that officials were waiting to get that plan in place before digging up the water and gas service.
“I don’t think there’s any big huge roadblocks in dealing with this,” he said, anticipating the houses to be demolished in the next week or two.
The contamination had forced project officials to change plans for an access road at the rear of two adjacent properties at 99 and 107 Freemans Bridge Road.
Lowe’s will construct a new road from its access drive to the right of 99 Freemans Bridge Road. Next year, it plans to install an intersection with traffic light in front of the store and widen a section of Freemans Bridge Road from the new store to Maple Avenue.
Store officials said previously that the store would employ about 175 people with an estimated 70 percent of those workers being full-time.
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