Workers demolishing dilapidated plant site |

Workers demolishing dilapidated plant site

Officials from American Gilsonite said last week they hope to have their Craig plant torn down within a month.

Moffat County commissioners in August told the company to repair or tear down the plant, which county officials said had become a safety hazard since it closed in the 1970s.

Before the county contacted the company, American Gilsonite officials said they didn’t know the company owned the property in Craig.

American Gilsonite hired a local excavating company, Anson Excavating, to tear down the building.

Crews have torn down a portion of the building and ripped out some of the walls.

Jarod Jackson, environmental coordinator for American Gilsonite, said the plant would be demolished within about a month.

The plant was the busiest Gilsonite processing facility in the world until it closed in the 1970s. Gilsonite is a nontoxic substance similar to coal. It is used in asphalt and paint.

Since American Gilsonite closed the plant, 195 Russell St., it had become a favorite hangout for vandals.

Graffiti covered the walls, windows were shattered, and there were gaping holes in the floor.

But the building’s structural problems went far beyond graffiti and broken windows, Moffat County building inspector Pat Mosbey said.

Broken and splintered roof trusses meant the roof was in serious danger of collapsing, Mosbey said.

Mosbey also was concerned about ladders and ropes that made the roof and storage tanks easily accessible, he said.

Shortly after county com–missioners sent a letter to American Gilsonite in August, the California-based company removed the ladders and boarded up some of the windows to secure the property.

Mosbey said he was pleased with the progress the company has made on the facility.

He inspected the site recently for hazardous materials and said the plant was clean.

Other than the inspection for hazardous materials, Mosbey said, the county wouldn’t inspect the site further.

“With a demo, there isn’t a whole lot to look at,” he said.

American Gilsonite officials said in August that they planned to sell the property after they tore it down. But officials later said they wanted to keep the property.

Jackson said the close proximity to a railroad would make the site ideal if the company ever needs to ship Gilsonite by train.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or

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