Crews to remove awning from Old Market building

Posted at 5:15 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 18:15:41-05

The awning on the side of the building damaged by the M’s Pub fire will come down, city officials say.

That is the next step for crews working on the building after it was damaged by an explosion and fire on Saturday, Jan. 9.

“Building inspectors estimate there could be 24 tons of ice on the awning, causing stress on the rest of the building,” said Carrie Murphy, a spokesperson for Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, in an update Tuesday.

Crews will use hot water to melt the ice and vacuum it up before it freezes again, she said.  The completion of this task depends on the weather, though.

As this work is done, the sidewalk on the east side of 11th Street, from Howard Street to the alley north of the building, will be closed.

City officials say a forensic engineer hired by the Mercers will arrive Saturday to look at the building, which no one has been able to enter because of the instability of the north wall.

The city says owners of about 24 cars still in underground parking at 11th and Harney will be able to move their vehicles Wednesday afternoon.