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CVS pharmacy construction resumes in Duluth

A worker on a scaffold unloads blocks from an all-terrain telescopic forklift at the CVS construction site along Superior Street in Duluth last week. Construction work had been stopped for much of the winter due to the extremely harsh conditions but resumed a few weeks ago. (Steve Kuchera / / 2
Workers prepare to lay another course of block for one of the walls of the Plaza CVS pharmacy at Superior Street and 12th Avenue East on Wednesday. The 13,000-square-foot store with a drive-through is expected to open in late summer. (Steve Kuchera / / 2

Work has resumed on a CVS pharmacy store at Superior Street and 12th Avenue East in Duluth.

“We finally got some good weather,” said Bruce Sheritt, site superintendent for Copeland General Contractors of Bloomington, Minn.

It will be the Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain’s third store in the Twin Ports.

Site work on the 13,000-square-foot store had begun in late fall. But heavy snow in early

December followed by three months of extreme cold and more snow brought work to a halt.

The project was shut down 3½ out of the past 4½ months, Sheritt said last week.

Still, crews managed to install an expansive rear retaining wall that stretches more than

200 feet along a bordering alley and which required huge footings. That installation was accomplished by thawing the ground and heating the concrete, he said.

Construction also was hampered by contaminated soil found on the site that had to be cleaned up and disposed of properly, he said.

While a gas station previously was on part of the site, most of the contamination came from a house that stood next to it that had leaked old fuel oil, Sheritt said.

“We think we’re pretty much through with it,” he said.

The new CVS store will take the entire upper side of Superior Street between 12th and 13th avenues east, across from the Plaza Shopping Center. It’s also across the street from a Walgreens store, a strategy CVS took with its West

Duluth store and elsewhere as it aggressively takes on the industry leader.

The Plaza store’s entrance will face Walgreens on 12th Avenue East and have a drive-through entrance on the 13th Avenue East side. The Superior Street side will have windows.

With store construction typically taking four to five months, the Plaza store is scheduled to be completed and open in late summer, CVS Caremark spokesman Mike DeAngelis said.

Sheritt was more specific, saying it should open around Aug. 31.