More O Street delays expected

The city of Lincoln is asking motorists on O Street to be patient just a little while longer.  The block between 9th and 10th streets will stay closed longer than expected.

Demolition continues on the old Gourlay Brothers Piano Co. building, but it's unstable structure is making it a very slow process.  Roger Randall, the project manager for the demolition, says one of the walls shared with a neighboring business is just a brick thick and taking it down in a hurry could cause a collapse.  He says “We went at it the safe way,  the best way.  Unfortunately, that takes a few more days to get to the point where we need to get O street open.”

That means O Street will remain closed for at least a couple more days.  Crews are hoping to have the building torn down to a safe level and have traffic moving again by Friday.  Mayor Beutler says O Street is vital to the city and he understands the frustration.  “Everyone understands that we need to quickly get this demolition to the point that we can reopen O Street and return life to normal.”

Some downtown businesses say they're just happy to see some progress.  Les Greer works at nearby Recycled Sounds and says, “At least something's getting done.  It's been ridiculous that it's dragged on this long.”

Westbound lanes to reopen on O Street are expected to open by Friday.  Eastbound lanes could take longer.