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Home / Commercial Construction / Engineers investigate cause of parking structure collapse (VIDEO)

Engineers investigate cause of parking structure collapse (VIDEO)

Investigators on Friday look over the part of the ODonnell Park parking garage that fell to the ground Thursday afternoon. The garage will remain closed until engineers clear the structure. (Photo by Joe Yovino)

Investigators on Friday look over the part of the O'Donnell Park parking garage that fell to the ground Thursday afternoon. The garage will remain closed until engineers clear the structure. (Photo by Joe Yovino)

By Sean Ryan

Milwaukee County officials are combing the O’Donnell Park parking structure and its construction records to find out why a 27,000-pound precast concrete panel broke off the building Thursday, killing a boy and injuring two others.

A subcontractor that Jack Takerian, county director of Transportation, Public Works and Transit, refused to name installed the panels during the original construction of the building, which ended in 1993.

J.H. Findorff & Son Inc., Madison, was the consultant for construction management on the project, which had 23 prime contractors that the county hired for different segments of the project, Takerian said. Miller, Meier, Kenyon & Cooper Architects & Engineers Inc., Milwaukee, designed the building, he said.

Takerian said the county last inspected the building in 2009. A facilities assessment of the structure was also conducted in 2004 by Milwaukee County, Takerian said.

“The precast panels were part of the inspection and did not show up in the report as an issue,” Takerian said.

One of the panels fell off the side of the building at 4:01 p.m. Thursday and killed Jared Kellner, a 15-year-old resident of Greenfield, who was walking on the sidewalk below.

A 15-year-old boy and his 36-year-old mother were also injured. The injuries are not life-threatening.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said engineers and law-enforcement officials are investigating the building to determine the cause of the incident.

“I want to know why this happened,” Clarke said. “The answer to that, however, is going to take some time.”

Takerian said Chicago-based consultant Inspec Inc. and Graef-USA Inc., Milwaukee, are inspecting the building. He said they are reviewing the other precast concrete panels to see if any others pose a risk.

So far, he said, none of the inspected panels are loose.

The Milwaukee County Parks Department on Friday released a list of the maintenance projects planned or completed on the structure. None of the projects involved work on the exterior precast panels.

Clarke said the parking structure will remain closed until engineers report that it is structurally sound.

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VIEW THE DAILY REPORTER’S COVERAGE OF THE GARAGE COLLAPSE, INCLUDING ADDITIONAL VIDEO AND PHOTOS FROM THE SCENE

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