Town Square demolition done

All that remains is some rubble at the site of the proposed Town Square Park in Watertown. This shot looks west across the Rock River with the Main Street bridge on the right.

The demolition phase is now officially over for the new Watertown Town Square.

The project took over five months, and Watertown citizens might be wondering why it took so long. The discovery of undergrounds tanks and bedrock account for some of the surprises and the delays.

“Never a dull moment in the 100 block,” said Kristen Fish-Peterson, executive director, Watertown Redeveopment Authority.

Demolition of the buildings in the 100 block of west Main Street was actually finished the week of June 8 in preparation for the location and removal of an underground tank.

“We were all surprised to learn there were two underground tanks, which are now drained, cleaned, and removed,” she continued. While removing the foundation of the Daily Times building, the contractor ran into a what they thought was another foundation.

“It wasn’t another foundation,” Fish-Peterson reported. “to everyone’s surprise...again, the foundation was poured on top of solid rock, which, I understand, runs through Watertown.”

The ground will be tested for contamination from the former printer. If found, soil and other contamination will be remediated and the site will then be leveled to grade. Plans call for shoring construction rubble against the Main Street sidewalk to support the front foundation walls, which were left in place.

Once graded, topsoil will be brought in, spread, and seeded. A 6-foot high chain-link fence will secure the area along Main and Water streets and along the south border to the river, until the land can be redeveloped into a community park.

“Since the demolition contractors began in early 2020, contractors have taken very great care to separate recyclable materials. They separated the metals, they saved the Watertown cream city bricks, they’ve used some construction rubble to stabilize the site, and they are recycling other items as well. This will reduce the impact in our landfills and it truly is an example of the Redevelopment Authority turning opportunity into results,” said Fish-Peterson.

To learn more about the project and watch progress videos and click on the “Project Highlights” tab under “Town Square Updates.” In addition, a Q & A can be found under the tab “Town Square Updates.”

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