TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – The wall came crumbling down on North Kansas Avenue hitting a parked car on its path to the street.
Matt Wiltz recorded video as demolition equipment knocked the top of a wall on 911 N. Kansas Avenue into the street. Bricks damaged a parked car across the street, covering it in dust.
Jenna Burghart recorded video down the block at the same time after seeing a crowd of people watching it be worked on before it came tumbling down into the road. It shows a truck passing by nearly getting hit.
“I saw people gathering around kind of the central area and we were just watching and seeing what was going on and decided, might want to pull out the camera. I know it’s been a big thing,” she said.
Building co-owner Dave Jackson fought the demolition for the past few years saying the structure was stable and asked the city to work with him to save the building.
Interim City Manager Bill Cochran said the event was due to the contractors’ actions not the state of the building. Something he said the city will take into consideration for future bids.
“People get caught up on hey, you’ve got to do the lowest bid, stuff like that and that’s not necessarily true. Lowest bid does come into play but also what you have to do is look into work performance, past performance and if they have the capacity to do the job and all those things come into consideration,” he said.
The contractor, Koenig Excavating and Grading out of Kansas City, will pay for the damage to the vehicle as part of their insurance.
Cochran reiterated the co-owners who own the land will have to pay for the demolition but not the damage to the vehicle.
“We will help the owner of the vehicle make sure that gets taken care of. We’ll do everything we can to help that owner of the vehicle. At this time, I don’t know the owner of the vehicle,” said Cochran.
Cochran stands by the city’s hiring. He said they met the criteria needed when they selected them, but the question now is why did the building fall forward into the street and not away from the public.
“Those are things we are looking at. At this point, the majority of the wall is down and so we won’t have to worry about it again fortunately with this particular situation but those are things now that we will now definitely take into consideration when we do certain demolitions in certain areas,” said Cochran.
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Topeka Interim City Manager Bill Cochran said Topeka police immediately informed him of equipment sending a wall falling into NOTO’s main road Wednesday.
A fence is around the site but that doesn’t stop walkers and drivers from going up and down the strip.
13 News has obtained two videos from people who witnessed the top part of a wall fall showing the debris hit a parked car and nearly hit one driving by.
Cochran said the car sustained substantial damage. The contractors, Koenig Excavation and Grading, will pay for the damage as part of their insurance. He said the event has nothing to do with the structure’s safety but with how the contractors acted.
He doesn’t know the amount or who owns the vehicle. The city will work with the vehicle’s owner to get them reimbursed.
“At this point, the majority of the wall is down and so we won’t have to worry about it again fortunately for this particular situation but those are things now we will definitely take into consideration when we do certain demolitions in certain areas.”
Cochran stands by the decision to hire Keonig to take down the building.
Building co-owner Dave Jackson fought the demolition saying the structure was stable and asked the city to work with him to save the building, but Cochran said again — it took years to get to this point.
Copyright 2022 WIBW. All rights reserved.