The former Hamilton Shirt Factory which spans the space between the Foyle Road and John Street is in imminent danger of collapse and the decision has been taken to close a main route into Derry to protect the public.
Derry City Council's Anthony Tohill warned that the listed building could collapse in 'three hours, three days or three weeks' and if it fell it would be a 'catastrophic' collapse.
Mr Tohill, said: “The former Hamilton Shirt Factory has been vacant for a number of years and has been steadily deteriorating over time. While some works have been undertaken to remove loose masonry and vegetation from the building, its overall structural stability has worsened during the last twelve months. Following the recent collapse of an internal wall, the building’s condition has deteriorated to such an extent that there is now a high risk of collapse. The road closures are necessary to protect public safety in the immediate vicinity.”
Mr Tohill said that three entire floors collapsed last weekend which put the building's structure under severe jeopardy. He said that council wish to safekeep historical buildings in Derry but that the Hamilton building may have to be demolished.
Derry City Council now have to liase with planning authorites and the owner of the building to tackle the issue and say the matter will be resolved within days.
Roads Service have closed the Foyle Road area around the factory to pedestrians and motorists and John Street will be closed to pedestrians only on the side of the road beside the factory. Diversions will be necessary around the lower deck of the Craigavon Bridge and drivers are urged to comply with traffic signage. Drivers should use the Foyle Bridge when possible.
Considerable delays are expected, particularly at peak times and motorists are advised to allow extra time for their journeys.