Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Virginia Earthquake forces downtown demolition in Bridgeton - 23rd Aug 2011

Countywide reports of structural damage were mostly unfounded following Tuesday afternoon’s 5.9-magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia.

However, hours after the tremor traveled more than 200 miles north through Bridgeton, city officials were weighing their options in bringing down one vacant Laurel Street business and the wall of a neighboring one.

The section of North Laurel Street between Commerce and Washington streets was closed Tuesday afternoon for fear of structural damage at the Rovner’s and Blue’s Spot buildings due to the earthquake.

“An ordinance calls for a 24-hour imminent hazard designation to take corrective action,” Business Administrator Dale Goodreau explained on the scene just before 7 p.m. Tuesday.

A cement wall on the north side of the Rovner’s building, which faces Washington Street, became partially separated from the rest of the structure. According to Bridgeton Fire Chief Dave Schoch, the wall had been separated prior to the earthquake, but not nearly to the extent it was after the tremor. Read More