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Engineer Warned Of 'Major Structural Damage' Before Miami Condo Tower Collapsed 

Engineer Warned Of ‘Major Structural Damage’ Before Miami Condo Tower Collapsed 

Structural engineering firm Morabito Consultants (MC) completed a field survey report three years ago of the now collapsed Champlain Towers South condominium complex in Surfside, Florida, and found structural damage. 

The nine-page report from October 2018 was first noted by The New York Times on early Saturday. The report provides ample evidence of structural damage to concrete slabs under the pool deck and cracking and crumbling in the parking garage. 

Page seven of the report reveals the parking garage of the 12-story building had signs of major structural issues. 

The condition of the Parking Garage levels was reviewed specifically noting any cracked or spalled concrete members, condition of the concrete slabs and joint sealant conditions. MC was able to identify the presence of previous epoxy injections and patch repairs which were evaluated for their long-term effectiveness. MC’s review of the Parking Garage revealed signs of distress/fatigue as described below:

Abundant cracking and spalling of varying degrees was observed in the concrete columns, beams, and walls. Several sizeable spalls were noted in both the topside of the entrance drive ramp and underside of the pool/entrance drive/planter slabs, which included instances with exposed, deteriorating rebar. Though some of this damage is minor, most of the concrete deterioration needs to be repaired in a timely fashion. All cracking and spalling located in the parking garage shall be repaired in accordance with the recommendations of ICRI.

MC visual observations revealed that many of the previous garage concrete repairs are failing resulting in additional concrete cracking, spalling and leaching of calcium carbonate deposits. At the underside of Entrance/Pool deck where the slab had been epoxy-injected, new cracks were radiating from the originally repaired cracks. The installed epoxy is not continuous as observed from the bottom of the slab, which is evidence of poor workmanship performed by the previous contractor. The injection ports were not removed, and the surfaces were not ground smooth at the completion of the injection. Leaching of calcium carbonate deposits in numerous areas has surely caused CTS to pay to repaint numerous cars. This leaching will continue to increase until proper repairs are completed. MC is convinced that the previously installed epoxy injection repairs were ineffective in properly repairing the existing cracked and spalled concrete slabs. MC recommends that the Entrance/Pool deck concrete slabs that are showing distress be removed and replaced in their entirely. Unfortunately, all of these failed slab areas are under brick pavers, decorative stamped concrete and planters which require completed waterproofing replacement. All repaired concrete slabs located in the parking garage are to be repaired in accordance with the recommendations of ICRI.

MC concludes by insisting “required maintenance is needed to properly maintain this existing residential property.” 

In a separate report released in 2020, researchers found the plot of land the condo building resided on was sinking at “alarming rates” in the 1990s.

Kenneth S. Direktor, a lawyer representing the resident-led association that manages the condo building, said days ago, that repairs on the building were beginning. 

“They were just about to get started on it,” Direktor said in an interview. 

It’s still too early to say the building collapse was due to structural problems conclusively, but the evidence is mounting that may be the case. 

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/26/2021 – 11:00

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