|Greenfield building inspection complete |
|Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 4:03 pm |
The report containing details of the apparent cause of the collapse of the Legends Lil’ Italy building in Greenfield, which cost a man his life last week, has been released.
Joseph Thomas and Glenn Harbour of J.P. Thomas and Associates of Memphis inspected the remains of Greenfield’s Legends Lil’ Italy restaurant last Tuesday after the Front Street building collapsed.
Renardo Jackson, 32, was a construction worker killed during the Jan. 23 building collapse.
Joseph Thomas and Glenn Harbour of J.P. Thomas and Associates of Memphis visually inspected the remains of the Front Street building Jan. 24 to provide an explanation as to why the tragic incident happened.
The original purpose for the visit to Greenfield was to inspect the remaining buildings in the middle section on Front Street where the collapse took place.
City officials said it was important to make sure there wouldn’t be a domino effect with the remaining buildings in that same section.
Many conditions were speculated to have contributed to the collapse of the structure by city officials. The night before there was heavy rain accompanied by winds estimated at 27 miles per hour.
The building was more than 100 years old and was said to have a brick footing under the wall. A bobcat machine was being used for the project in the lot adjacent to the building.
“Originally the north wall of the building was estimated to be about 30 feet above the supporting exterior soil. After excavation for the retaining wall footing, the height now becomes 34 to 40 feet above the exterior supporting soil on the interior if damp or wet can cause a soil pressure pushing out on the wall. Assuming that the bobcat caused some vibrations in the soil under the footing, if the wind was putting a pressure on the wall and if the wind was coming out of the northeast it would provide a negative or an outward pressure on the face of the wall,” Harbour stated in the report.
“It is our opinion that the wet ground adjacent to the brick footing and the fact that the bobcat could cause vibrations and a rotation to the existing footing. The wall being some 10 feet higher without exterior soil support and the bobcat could have hit the existing footing causing rotation along with heavy winds. Combining all of these factors, the wall could easily rotate enough to pull some of the roof joists out of the supporting wall and thus cause the building to fall,” Harbour concluded in the report.
The Memphis engineer group said in its report it was not equipped at the time to make a detailed inspection and said the information provided in the report was based on “engineering judgment, estimates and talking to persons familiar with the collapse.”
The report added that the firm would come back and re-inspect the building with proper equipment if necessary. No further inspections have been scheduled at this time.