Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 7 p.m. UPDATE: BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Two buildings will need to be demolished following a building collapse in downtown Beckley.
The Walton Bail Bonds building and the Stephen New law office will both need to be demolished. Both property owners are working with demolition companies to proceed with the next step of tearing down the buildings.
BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — On June 24, 2020, a building in the center of Beckley collapsed, damaging the two neighboring buildings, and closing part of main street.
Allen Walker, the owner of Dragon’s Den gaming, ran to his store across the street.
“I immediately ran up here to make sure my store was okay,” Walker said.
Although there was no damage to his store, it still greatly affected him. The road closure means his customers can not park in front of his store. He also lost the drop-in business.
“We don’t get the drive by traffic from just the vehicles. So, we are not getting people coming by and seeing us. We are losing our visibility” Walker said.
That loss of business will continue even longer. Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold said it may take months before the road reopens.
“In an engineer’s report, what we hear is, the Walton building and the New building will more than likely be demolished,” Rappold said.
The two buildings will have to be torn down and re-built, based on the engineer’s reports. Rappold said there have been discussions of opening one lane on Main Street.
“To get them back in business, open up at least one lane of Main Street in order to have through traffic there again,” Rappold said.
Rappold said that project may still be difficult.
“I won’t say wishful thinking. But I will say that’s optimistic,” Rappold said.
The street can not be opened until it is deemed safe for people walking and driving on the street. There is currently no timeline for the buildings’ demolition.