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The Dripby Mark Reutter12:10 pmOct 4, 20110

Four more weeks of mess on Durham Street

Above: The open hole on Durham Street, called dangerous by residents, won’t be graded and filled for another month, the city says.

Deloris Hanson and her neighbors will have to wait another four weeks – maybe longer – for Pless Jones to clean up the rubble he’s scattered across her block.

That’s the timetable offered by the city’s housing department responding to Brew questions about the slowness of demolition work by Jones’ P&J Contracting Co. on this East Baltimore block.

Housing spokesperson Tania Baker said demolition normally takes about 60 days. “However, emergency demolitions have slowed down progress” on this contract, she said.

About 45 days have past since P&J knocked down 11 city-owned vacant rowhouses on the 1600 block of N. Durham Street. But instead of taking away the debris and grading the lot, piles of rubble remain, including a large open hole that residents call dangerous.

“The contractor is planning to resume work this week, weather permitting,” Baker said in an e-mail. “Site clearing and grading take approximately four weeks, depending on completion of the wall work and weather conditions.”

Baker said the politically prominent Jones bid the job for about $150,000, or $11,500 per house on this small alley street. Eleven houses were knocked down in mid-August and two remain standing.

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