EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 10, 2013

Police station getting needed repairs

LAWRENCE — Using a jackhammer to break through layers of concrete, workers yesterday repaired the entrance of the Lawrence Police Department.

The work began yesterday at 8:30 a.m. by Haggar Construction of Methuen.

“I’m happy about anything we can do to make the building more accessible to the public,” Interim Police Chief James Fitzpatrick said. “This is a step in the right direction.”

Over the years, there has been attempts to make quick fixes to the department’s entrance by patching cracks and filling holes.

“We’re removing the existing concrete landing and replacing it with a new one,” said owner Bill Haggar.

During the removal process, he said workers dug through one small layer of concrete and four inches below that.

“It was precast concrete pad, which is basically the ceiling for the cells below,” he said. Haggar said they will build a temporary walkway for the public while 3,500 pounds of concrete will be laid on the landing and let dry for 24 hours.

“This will be the most significant work that has ever been done. They are cleaning it up to where it used to be,” Fitzpatrick said.

Mayor William Lantigua said fixing the Lawrence Police headquarters has been a priority since he took office more than three years ago.

“It’s one of those things that we do when funds become available,” he said. Lantigua said the repairs should last until a new police station is built.

Lantigua said plans for the new station have not been finalized.

“We don’t have a date because it takes a lot of planning and a lot of money,” he said. “We do what we can with what money we have.”

Lantigua said reconstructing the landing at the police station cost $4,500.

He refuted accusations by residents that the work is being done because it is a re-election year.

“I can’t sit still and don’t do any work because it’s an election year,” he said. “I was elected for four years and will work until my days are complete.”

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