Federal Courthouse Repairs To Wrap Up By Next Spring

By Johanna F. Still, posted Feb 13, 2023
The federal courthouse building in downtown Wilmington is still undergoing repairs as a result of damage from Hurricane Florence. (Photo by Miriah Hamrick)
Repairs to the Alton Lennon Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse downtown are expected to wrap up by spring 2024. 

Construction on this large and historic downtown footprint remains one of the few obvious physical signs of Hurricane Florence, which hit the region in September 2018. 

Work has required shutting off access to Water Street, but federal officials say they do not anticipate an extension of the permit for the closure beyond July. In the meantime, a pedestrian access aisle can be found between Market and Princess streets. Wrights Alley will also have intermittent closures on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to an update on the project shared Monday by Councilman Luke Waddell. 

Alabama-based contractors Brasfield & Gorrie was awarded $37.9 million last March to conduct disaster recovery demolition and abatement work. This firm is tasked with completing the full repair and restoration of the project, according to a U.S. General Services Administration spokesperson. 

In 2019, the GSA awarded a handful of contracts to stabilize the building and assess hurricane damage, the spokesperson said. This includes $1.1 million to Southeast Restoration, $190,000 to AFG Construction Management and $1.3 million to Brooks Range Contract Services. 

The project was funded via the Disaster Relief Act of 2019, by which Congress equipped the GSA with funding to address necessary repair and alteration projects prompted by Florence, the spokesperson said. 

“The scope of the funding includes repairs to the building envelope, mechanical and electrical systems, and interior finishes. Remediation work was accomplished jointly alongside the ongoing repair and restoration work,” the spokesperson said. “To date the project has made significant progress on external building envelope repairs and mechanical systems replacement work. Remaining work will focus on mechanical systems testing and interior finish repairs and restoration.”

As the repairs carry on, federal court matters will continue to be housed in the former StarNews building at 1003 S. 17th St. 
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