Demolition of Webster Mill complete, detour to be lifted

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A demolition crew takes down a portion of the Webster Mill building on Monday, March 4. The work was done in response to the risk of the building collapsing. Photo by Leslie Deschenes
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North Attleborough officials report that the partial demolition of the Webster Mill Building is now complete.

The only remaining structure left of the Webster Mill is the concrete building which was determined by the Board of Survey to be structurally safe for the time being, according to the town. The work began after a review of the decaying building showed it was in danger of collapsing, potentially onto Broadway, where it is located. 

On Wednesday, March 6, the remaining wooden portions of the Webster Mill building were demolished by Plainville Pump per the Board of Survey and Building Inspector Butler’s recommendation. A detour on Broadway and surrounding roads was put into place after the building was deemed to be dangerous, and will be lifted at noon on Friday, with Broadway reopened to all traffic.

The remaining building on the property has been boarded up to prevent anyone from entering and the a six-foot chain-link fence will be set up around the property. Over the next couple of months, the town will work with the property owners to properly dispose of the pile of debris that remains on-site.

The debris from the wooden portion of the building was covered with a 10 mil reinforced poly film membrane to mitigate the spread of asbestos or other hazardous materials into the air. Contracted environmental specialists have conducted air quality monitoring during process to ensure asbestos levels in air samples met the Massachusetts’ Department of Labor Standards and Department of Enviromental Protection’s clearance criteria of 0.010 f/cc (fibers/cubic cm). 

All results were below this level, and indicate that there were so few fibers of asbestos detected that the results could not meet the limit to quantify them accurately.

“I would like to thank our Board of Survey, including Director of Public Works Mark Hollowell, Fire Chief Christopher Coleman, Building Inspector Brian Butler and disinterested party Steve Cabral, our contractors, MassDEP and all other parties that worked to promptly address the imminent threats the Webster Mill posed to our community,” Town Manager Michael Borg said in a statement. “Together, we all worked collaboratively to prevent the imminent threat of the building’s collapse while following all protocols and procedures set forth to ensure the safety of our community. We now look forward to working with the owners to determine the next steps with the building so that we can clean up any hazardous materials and begin the efforts of revitalizing and repurposing this piece of land.”