Photos: Post and beam meets the maw

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

An historic corner building that troubled drivers in the Berne hamlet falls away under the bucket of a trackhoe run by contractor Bette & Cring Construction Group of Latham throughout the morning on July 22. Water was sprayed on its gutted frame to control dust during the demolition.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

No match for the claw: The destruction is part of a $2.02 million project administered by the state’s Department of Transportation to widen the intersection of routes 443 and 156 and improve the Fox Creek’s retaining walls. The building was considered a traffic hazard. The project’s second phase, in the summer of 2015, will involve reconstructing the nearby bridge over the creek.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Guts: The building's contents could be seen dragged along with splinters of wood. When tropical storms Irene and Lee came through the region in 2011, the creek swelled and damaged its retaining walls. The DOT project will install two new walls adjacent to the north and southeast retaining walls of the bridge. The next step in the project, DOT spokesman Bryan Viggiani said, is excavating the site of the demolition to put in the retaining wall along Route 443. Work at the intersection is scheduled to be completed by September.

The Enterprise — Jordan J. Michael

Post-and-beam: The frame supporting the building was made of hand-hewn posts and beams, which were clamped by the bucket and torn out. Marks seen on the teetering posts were left by plaster applied over lath to form the original walls. “Regarding the building debris, nearly all of it was not able to be salvaged due to the deteriorated condition of the material,” Viggiani wrote in an e-mail. “The Engineer in Charge for the project tells me that many of the posts and beams were ‘like dust’ and simply crumbled. The debris is being hauled away from the site by the contractor and by County Waste.”