CARBONDALE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A piece of history is coming down in Lackawanna County. The demolition of the former Hotel Chellino in Carbondale is underway this week.

A century-old building coming down so that a closed bridge can be replaced. It’s a project that’s been in the works for nearly 30 years and now that it’s finally here, Eyewitness News dug into what’s next for this space.

“You know when you look across the street it’s sad to see that the Chellino has become what it became,” said Michelle Banner, a Carbondale City Clerk.

Banner has a direct view of the former Hotel Chellino out of her office window. Built-in 1913, 100 years later, the building will soon be rubble.

The demolition began Saturday, and contractors will be working for the next 45 days to tear it down piece by piece. There were a handful of spectators throughout the day Monday, all taking their final looks at the century-old hotel.

“It’s been vacant for so many years and every day nobody wants to do nothing about it and I guess because of the everything had to be redone inside the building so they’re better off tearing it down,” said Ron Baker of Carbondale.

The building demolition costs $325,000. It is part of the 6th Avenue Bridge Project, which PennDOT has had in its planning schedule since 1994.

The bridge has been closed for 16 years. Crews will remove the bridge and build a new one in its place. That project is expected to begin in 2024. Plus, the city of Carbondale has plans in motion to revamp the space once the hotel is torn down.

“Our residents want to be more fluid with any type of recreation trail or river access that we have. So you know the little later plans after the bridge is done is to create a riverwalk access so people can go down and fish look at the river,” said City Clerk Michele Bannon.

Despite those plans, the demolition is raising concerns for fishermen. The Lackawanna River is a class of trout streams. There is a canopy on the side of the building to prevent debris from falling into the river, but there are already bricks in the river.

Eyewitness News has reached out to the Department of Environmental Protection, who says they are investigating.

It is not clear whether those bricks fell in the water before the demolition began, or how long they’ve been in the water.