State Watch

Consultants found extensive concrete deterioration at Surfside building in 2020: report


A group of consultants contracted to survey the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Fla., for updates reportedly said in a 2020 report that there was major concrete deterioration near the pool area. 

The condominium building located in the Miami area partially collapsed last week, leaving 18 dead, and dozens more unaccounted for. 

The report, obtained by USA Today from a family member of a missing resident of the building, provides further detail into some of the structural issues associated with the building recorded in past few years. 

According to USA Today, the nine-page document prepared by Morabito Consultants in October 2020 explained that full repair work on the reported deterioration “could not be performed” because the pool “was to remain in service for the duration of the work.” 

Additionally, the company noted that the excavation that would have been necessary to repair the pool “could affect the stability of the remaining adjacent concrete constructions.” 

It is required in Miami-Dade County for buildings over 40 years old to be re-certified.

Morabito Consultants noted in a 2018 report revealed last week that there was “abundant cracking and spalling of varying degrees” in the structures of the ground-floor parking garage. 

The 2018 report had also warned of major damage near the building’s pool area. 

In an April letter obtained by USA Today this week, Champlain Towers South Condominium Association President Jean Wodnicki reportedly acknowledged that damage to the building’s basement garage had “gotten significantly worse” and the concrete damage was “accelerating.” 

While officials have not yet determined an official cause for last week’s disaster, multiple lawsuits have already been filed against the condo association, alleging mismanagement and neglect that groups argue resulted in the collapse. 

President Biden has supported a probe into the collapse, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology announced Wednesday that it was launching a “full technical investigation” that could take years. 

Biden, along with first lady Jill Biden, visited the site of the collapse on Thursday, where first responders are continuing their rescue efforts for the 145 building residents who remain unaccounted for one week after the disaster. 

Search efforts were temporarily paused on Thursday amid concerns that the rest of the building would collapse. However, the search was resumed later in the day. 

Tags building collapse Florida Jill Biden Joe Biden Structural engineering Surfside Surfside building collapse USA Today
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