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By Carmen Ensinger
Those coming through Carrollton last Thursday evening, April 14, found themselves being rerouted around the Carrollton Square after the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) blocked off a section of Illinois State Route 67 for more than four hours.
A portion of Rt. 67 was blocked off by IDOT due to the threat of the collapse of a building being remodeled on the corner of Rt. 67 and Rt. 108 during the high winds that day.
The building is owned by Karen Lesemann, who also owns Copper Stills and Mash, located next door.
Carrollton Police Chief Mike McCartney said the contractors, hired by Lesemann to do the remodeling, contacted Public Works Director Steve Rosentreter and were worried that the building might collapse during the high winds.
“They contacted him and asked him if our police department could block off that section of the road because they were afraid the building might collapse with the high winds we were having,” Chief McCartney said. “I told them that was a State Highway and we couldn’t close down the road even if we wanted to and that they would have to contact the Illinois Department of Transportation.”
The building is a three-story brick building and the remodeling of the building began about a month ago with the first floor being removed. Then, the second floor was removed and then the third and finally the roof, leaving just the shell of a three-story brick building standing on the corner with no support.
An IDOT worker said that the building was reported to have been swaying around two to three feet which was why they were called in to block off the road until steel I-beams could be installed at the top of the building to provide support for the free-standing walls.
Lesemann, declined to comment other than to say that the matter was blown out of proportion and that it was just a precautionary measure.
Lesemann said that she plans to install outdoor seating in the area.