Part of busy Davis Square in Somerville has been closed down after officials on Monday deemed a building under construction “unsafe.”
According to Somerville police Lieutenant Michael Mulcahy, engineers working on the old Social Security office building at 240 Elm St. said the structure was unsafe, but no additional details were available Monday night.
A Dunkin’ Donuts was open in the building during its construction, though it was closed as of Monday.
The City of Somerville issued a statement Monday claiming structural work is being done on the facade of the building. The statement said that Elm Street would be closed to cars between Dover and Grove streets until further notice, with pedestrians being stopped in the block between Chester and Grove streets.
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone could not be reached for comment Monday night.
Dozens of pedestrians were turned away by officers on Elm Street and Chester Street on Monday night. Some said they were planning to visit restaurants in the area (“I guess no bubble tea,” one passerby lamented), while others, like Jamie Dodd, 32, walked his usual way home.
Officers at the scene told pedestrians that Elm Street and all businesses alongside it would be closed until Friday. Mulcahy could not confirm that, but said, “it will be an ongoing saga.”
Ed Kim, manager of Meju, a Korean restaurant on Elm Street, said that although the street’s closure affects some business, he supports what the city is doing to keep people safe. The restaurant was closed Monday night, but he is hoping to open for lunch or dinner on Tuesday.
“Hopefully this thing will clear up soon,” Kim said. “It would be good for Meju, but better for Davis Square.”
Alexandra Koktsidis can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on twitter @akoktsidis.