A pair of excavators work on the remains of the strip mall that was under construction next to Highway 53 on the west side of Ponoka. Crews knocked down the structure that partially collapse last month in what is being suspected as a retaining wall being eroded away following a nasty thunderstorm.

A pair of excavators work on the remains of the strip mall that was under construction next to Highway 53 on the west side of Ponoka. Crews knocked down the structure that partially collapse last month in what is being suspected as a retaining wall being eroded away following a nasty thunderstorm.

Strip mall falls a second time, next steps are unclear

A second collapse is not deterring the owner of a commercial property in Ponoka.

A second collapse is not deterring the owner of a commercial property in Ponoka.

The strip mall that was blown over in a wind storm earlier this summer was struck once again late last month following a tremendous thunderstorm and fell in on itself, creating another huge mess and clean up operation.

Bob Singh, the property owner from Red Deer, explained the mall located just off Highway 53 in the Froman Industrial Park had just seen completion of the roof and had seen some interior work being done when the collapse occurred sometime either July 25 or 26.

“The foundation in the middle at the rear failed from too much rain,” Singh stated in an interview last week.

“There was a lot of water on the roof as well, too heavy for it to hold and it caved in after the retaining wall failed.”

Singh added he has to stay positive and that all that can be done is to clean up the site, which was completed last week, followed by starting the rebuilding process.

“There’s not too many choices for right now, we just have to keep going and get back to building,” he said.

Crews dug out some of the former foundation along with part of the retaining wall along with all of the construction material in the clean up.

Preparation work, Singh said, will hopefully start shortly and will include a new retaining wall plus a new foundation that it is estimated might be complete sometime this month. It’s then hoped that construction of the strip mall for a third time will start by September.