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New public safety concerns arise after demolition of collapsed LaFayette building

This was the scene from above in February, when the front of a building on Villanow Street collapsed. Now, crews are working to prevent another collapse. (Image: NewsChannel 9 SkyCam)

UPDATE (May 18th):

Walker County Public Relations Director Joe Legge sent NewsChannel 9 an update on this story:

"We received a permit to structurally secure the front facade of the Judiciary Annex building this week. Crews will be working to secure that area today. A building inspector from the City of LaFayette will review the work this afternoon. Once that takes place, if all goes as planned, the road leading into downtown (Highway 193) will be reopened, well in advance of the Honeybee Festival."

Depend on us to keep you posted.

PREVIOUSLY:

Two months after a LaFayette building collapsed, construction teams are working to prevent the front of the county's judicial annex from falling into the road.

In February, the front of the building at 101 East Villanow Street collapsed.

The city told the owner weeks before the collapse that his building was a nuisance because of the safety threat it posed to the public.

Walker County spokesman Joe Legge says the building was closed after the collapse due to public safety concerns, and government offices in the building were moved.

Thursday afternoon, LaFayette officials alerted the Walker County government about structural issues to the Walker County Judicial Annex after the demolition work done.

A structural engineer and the county's building official found issues that could pose a threat to public safety.

They advised that Highway 136 between South Duke Street and Main Street be closed again. The road had just reopened earlier this week.

A construction team is now working to keep the front facade of the Annex building from falling into the road.

Court services that were in that building, including the Public Defender's Office and Drug Court, have been relocated to the Walker County Courthouse Annex III at 201 South Main Street in LaFayette.

Depend on us to keep you posted.

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