Downtown Laramie Tries To Recover After Partial Building Collapse
After a building in Historic Downtown Laramie partially collapsed yesterday, the City of Laramie is still awaiting word from a structural engineer on how dangerous the situation may be.
Part of the building at 404 South Second Street collapsed on Sunday, June 7. The structure is immediately adjacent to the now empty space where the Laramie Vision Clinic once stood. That building was torn down after a fire destroyed it in May 2014. Work to rebuild on that location has been slowed as a result of the structure collapse.
While the cause of the collapse is still under investigation, Fire Marshal Mark Doyle says he believes many factors played a role in the event.
“I know they were doing excavation in the area of the collapse—a combination of excavation, the weather that happened Saturday night and Sunday morning, trains going by, the instability of the soil that was there in the first place—there’s just a number of factors that I think affected it,” says Doyle. “You know, long term even, the fact that there is no longer a building there from the fire is an effect to both structures on either side of it.”
Doyle says the portion of the building that collapsed will likely need to be torn down, and the whole building may be affected.
Crews are waiting for a structural engineer to conduct an evaluation on the structure before they can officially open the area to traffic.
Many businesses have been affected by the event. Undercover Beds and Spas is not currently operating out of their building, but has been able to continue work in some capacity. J’s Prairie Rose Café and The Hero Depot remain closed until the evaluation can be completed. Other nearby businesses have access via the street or at the back of their buildings.
Doyle says that the public should continue to stay a safe distance from the area for safety reasons.