Ludlow Shaw’s eyes flood wall, July re-opening

By Cara Philbin
©2024 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Shaw’s in Ludlow may reopen by the 4th of July, if the Vermont state fire marshal approves the plans presented at last week’s meeting of the Ludlow Development Review Board, according to Bill Faradie of Vertec Corp., the construction management firm handling the rebuild.

Click image to enlarge.

The store closed, then reopened as a drive-up shop, after devastating floods hit Ludlow and much of the region on Monday, July 10. The plaza is owned by Albertson’s, a Massachusetts-based food and drug retailer, which had been slated to close a $24.6 billion merger with Kroger in January. That deal is currently being challenged with antitrust lawsuits from Colorado and Washington.

Joining Faradie was Nick Nitschke of Scott/Griffin Architects in Waltham, Mass., who presented designs to provide 360 degree protection for all of the tenants of 213 Main St., which are Shaw’s, Mary W. Davis Real Estate, Inside Edge Rentals and M&T Bank.

Those designs include flood proof masonry coating, sliding compression doors in place of egress doors, concrete stem walls and a freestanding wall. Concrete stem walls would be built in the front left and back right of the building to protect critical resources.

“The ‘drive-up and go’ is permanent,” said Faradie at the Feb. 12 meeting. “They’ll have the spaces in the parking lot, so it will still remain the same.”

Shaw’s plans to permanently absorb the former Rite Aid Pharmacy, which did not re-open after the flooding, where it has been operating a drive-up-and-go grocery service. That will be partitioned off with its own wall and remain open, during construction — a step that the DRB greenlighted with good faith, during their January meeting.

In some areas, flood mitigation measures vary because the goal is to “provide unobstructed access” to the building and protect its functionality, said Nitschke. For instance, one freestanding wall would extend across the front of Shaw’s and down the full length of the building, circumscribing the covered walkway that is currently unrestricted between the parking lot and neighboring tenants. Pedestrian traffic would be siphoned through the sliding doors attached to that wall.

While many window sills will be raised, the bank teller windows will remain at their current height and instead be protected by sliding panels that act as barricades. These panels along with the compression doors and additional panels at the receiving docks would be, theoretically, deployed by local employees, during a flood. For this reason, future plans would also include rapid mitigation equipment and an emergency preparedness training program, Nitschke said.

“There would be an emergency plan in place that would instruct anyone that happens to be there when these measures need to be executed there would be this plan that would outline what has to happen,” said Nitschke.

Members of Ludlow’s DRB are reviewing these flood mitigation designs, while the Scott/Griffin architects develop more detailed drawings for contractors, which Nitschke said would be done by the March meeting. “Regarding the timeline, all I can say is that the (early July) dates you listed are the goals, the last I heard, that we’re all shooting for,” he said.

“On behalf of Shaw’s, I think they would like to open sooner,” Faradie added. “But like Nick said, that is the timeline right now. But we would like to open up sooner than that, if possible.”


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