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Parking garage collapse leads to countywide facade inspections

MILWAUKEE – The partial collapse of the O’Donnell Park parking garage that killed a 15-year-old boy last week has prompted countywide inspections.

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and County Board Chairman Lee Holloway on Wednesday announced Milwaukee County’s plan to have an external engineering firm begin a safety inspection of all county buildings to determine potential issues impacting public safety.

The inspection will include all buildings that have not received a facade inspection within the last five years and is in addition to the audit request initiated by Holloway last Friday.

Written notification will be sent immediately to all organizations currently leasing County-owned buildings including the War Memorial, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and the Milwaukee Public Museum requiring confirmation of the same type of general building exterior site inspection, according to a press release from the county.

The scope of work for the general exterior building site inspection will include:

• Initial visual examination covering all applicable building elevations, including exterior facade components, cornices, soffits and other overhangs and features;

• remote visual examinations will be performed on the entire facade from ground and/or roof levels;

• assuming that certain conditions of distress and/or deterioration cannot be detected solely by remote visual examination, close up “arms-length” visual examinations will be performed on selected buildings in selected areas as determined by the inspector in the field;

• additional examinations will be performed where deemed necessary by the inspector for wall areas with external visible distress, as evidenced by suspicious bowing, bulging, leaning, displacement or discoloration; • and, if warranted, a visual examination of concealed facade components will be performed by either using an inspection probe or by removing exterior and/or interior facade components.

The time frame for completing the work will be six to eight weeks, according to the release.

The Milwaukee Department of Transportation and Public Works plans to contract with Graef-USA Inc., Milwaukee, to do the inspection work. DTPW staff will meet with Graef-USA on Thursday to begin work immediately, the release said.

3 comments

  1. Who installed the facade? Release the names.

  2. Wasn’t Graef the original structural engineer for that project?

  3. The name of the facade precast contractor was already released…and Graef was not the original enigineer.

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