SCHENECTADY — Friday was a black day indeed for the old bus station at South Church and State streets: A giant mechanical claw ripped part of it to shreds.
The rest of the building is getting only a temporary reprieve. It too will be demolished once asbestos is removed from it.
Demolition of the former Trailways station is part of the $1.4 million rebuild of South Church Street. The project is going well, Ray Gillen, chairman of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, said Friday.
Snowflakes like the ones swirling through Schenectady on Friday afternoon often signal the impending end of road construction season, but Gillen said the asphalt plant is still open and work will continue as long as it is.
“The paving’s pretty far along,” he said.
Curbing is in place but the street remains barricaded to vehicle traffic while it’s a work in progress.
After the weather makes pouring concrete and laying asphalt impossible, the work will switch to tasks such as installing lights and cameras, Gillen said.
The $1.4 million project is designed to improve the appearance, functionality and parking options along the roughly 700-foot stretch of South Church between State and Fuller streets.
The bus station will be replaced by a parking lot, which Gillen said is needed as more events, employees and visitors come to a long-quiet neighborhood.
Asbestos-laden plaster was removed from the building in preparation for the demolition, but more was found Friday. The newer portion of the building was demolished and carted off, allowing easier access to the remaining contamination in the old part of the building.
Asbestos cleanup and demolition are expected to resume Monday.
Adirondack Trailways and Greyhound had stopped staffing the station because many customers were buying tickets online, and it deteriorated as time went on. Metroplex bought it from Adirondack Transit for $285,000.
South Church had previously been made a one-way street, flowing from State to Fuller, and now the intersection with State will be modified to allow left turns onto South Church.
“Before, coming west, you just couldn’t turn there,” Gillen said. “So we’re making it accessible. There’s important projects going on down there.