Demolition started at the rear portion of the old jail Monday morning.
It’s slow going for crews as old construction is making the job a bit more difficult.
The old jail is proving to be a challenge for demolition crews. Workers are using an excavator to slowly chip away at the old structure. Steel cells and reinforced walls are taking longer to tear down than originally anticipated.
Dothan Public Works Director Jerry Corbin said, “It's heavily reinforced. There's some rebar in there like an inch and a half in diameter. Some of these beams are two feet by two feet and it's doing all the excavator can do to get this apart right now.”
Previously, workers removed old equipment and marble from the site, which is in storage for future use. The demolition project is making way for a new parking lot to draw more business and traffic to the downtown area.
Chairman of the Downtown Group Robin Rainer said, “It was a building that was not feasible to keep it and it's going to serve a better purpose allowing us to have access to more parking, which is a big need in downtown Dothan.”
Members of The Downtown Group say destruction represents progress for historic downtown Dothan.
Executive Director of The Downtown Group, Cathy Cole said, “We've had at least 10 new businesses open their doors down here to include metro music. So, we're seeing foot traffic increased and business picking up in the district.”
The next building scheduled to come down is the old Seact Building on Main Street.
Demolition of both the jail and the Seact Building will create an additional 40 to 50 parking spaces.
Most of the demolition is expected to be complete by the end of the week.