The town of Jackson is finally demolishing the Walgreens off of Highway 89 that has stood vacant since April 2014.
The building was closed because of a slow-moving landslide that began just a few weeks after that Walgreens opened. Questions lingered for years over who was at fault and who should pay to fix the slide that destroyed a home and left the Walgreens unusable, but the community eventually voted to pay for the project.
Larry Pardee, Jackson’s Director of Public Works, said the slide now moves around an eighth of an inch per month and stabilizing it is expected to cost $10.9 million.
“Our biggest challenge will be to not make it worse, even though it’s technically still in an unstable state. But as we begin to improve the stability, each day that we get further into this the safer it’ll become,” said Pardee.
Pardee said they are hoping to have the entire Walgreens dismantled and the walls buried in the next two weeks, but that construction and stabilization will likely continue through Thanksgiving. He said there are no plans for lane closures of Highway 89 at this time, but that drivers should be aware of the slide and the stabilization efforts through the summer and beyond.
“This time of year obviously is a very busy time,” said Pardee. “The traffic counts are exceptionally high coming into the summer months, and then we have the eclipse this summer and we’re expecting a lot of folks in town for the week of August 21. So that section of the highway is quite used during these summer months.”
The town of Jackson will auction off salvaged property from the Walgreens – including light fixtures, windows, and tables – on June 24 at the west side of the Jackson Rodeo Grounds.