SCRANTON -- Rebuilding sidewalks in front of Scranton's Police Headquarters could have cost around $80,000.
But Newswatch 16 learned Tuesday that it will cost a fraction of that all because the Bricklayers' Union is doing the city a big favor.
Workers from Scranton DPW started ripping out the old sidewalks in front of the Scranton Police Headquarters yesterday. Later on this week, workers from the local Bricklayers' Union will lay concrete all on their own time-saving the city tens of thousands of dollars.
The sidewalks are not that old. Officials said something must have gone wrong when they were put in only eight years ago.
Still considered by many Scrantonians to be the "new" police department headquarters, the now eight-year-old building on South Washington Avenue in Scranton has parts of it that look a lot older.
"Shortly after we were in the building we started seeing signs, the corners of the sidewalk starting to crack and crumble. And over the last few ears, obviously, it's gotten remarkably worse," said Police Chief Carl Graziano.
So, it's been a bit of an embarrassment for the department.
Parts of the sidewalk have crumbled to rocks and dust. But, it would cost the city of Scranton almost $80,000 to fix.
An expensive eyesore, thought Roseanna Clark of Moosic who had to navigate her nephew's stroller around the sidewalk cracks.
Scranton's Mayor Bill Courtright went to the local Bricklayers' Union with the sidewalk problem and a big favor to ask, the union agreed to do the work for free as long as the city provide the materials.
Members of the Bricklayers' Union said the crumbling concrete could have been caused by a few different things, including the weather. And since the last few winters have been so rough, they said it is hard to tell where to place blame.
"It's always bothered me and I think it's bothered the police officers, you have this building that looks very nice behind it and these sidewalks just crumbling," Mayor Courtright said.
Courtright said he does not know who did the original work eight years ago. But, he said the way the work will be done now may become a norm for Scranton.
He said he will be asking agencies or individuals for freebies when he can.
"I think they know that we're struggling financially and they're willing to help, and if I have to humble myself, no problem," Courtright added.
Members of the Bricklayers' Union said, since they'll be doing the work on their own time, it may take them the entire summer to replace the sidewalk.
City officials said at the price they are getting they are willing to wait.