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Engineer weighs in on Hard Rock Hotel
collapse: 'Logically, it doesn't make sense'

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Posted By: MissMolly, 10/15/2019 5:28:42 AM

NEW ORLEANS – On Saturday morning, structural engineer Walter Zehner’s phone rang with news of a devastating construction collapse on a site he once worked. The plan for 1031 Canal St. had completely changed since Zehner left the project approximately three years ago, moving from a mixed use retail/residential design to what was planned to be a Hard Rock Hotel. When Zehner arrived at the downtown construction site Saturday, he saw six to eight concrete levels had collapsed, the edges hanging down the side of the building as if they’d melted. “It was a lot worse than I could have imagined,” Zehner said. “And I’ve seen the videos of the collapse

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Reply 1 - Posted by: BarryNo 10/15/2019 5:50:29 AM (No. 207681)
It's New Orleans, one of the most corrupt Democrat-controled areas in the country. I strongly suspect multiple infractions of building code, substandard construction materials and loaded political pockets.
24 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Blue-Z-Anna 10/15/2019 6:13:57 AM (No. 207692)
Looks like the Murrah Bldg. post Mcvay.
4 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: Safari Man 10/15/2019 8:21:08 AM (No. 207792)
Chinese bolts?
7 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: worried 10/15/2019 8:23:02 AM (No. 207795)
No, #3, American corruption.
6 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: Chuzzles 10/15/2019 8:34:13 AM (No. 207818)
After I read some of what was posted on the internet last night, it makes perfect sense. NOLA allowed a cut rate builder with the most shoddy/corrupt of business practices do the work. When you have somebody who rips off the government, hires incompetent and unqualified help to do the construction work, can you expect anything else but a collapse? I suspect the general contractor violated some serious building code regs and used substandard materials. This was an inevitable ending for this work. I am just sorry that people were hurt and some died.
6 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: ladydawgfan 10/15/2019 9:31:53 AM (No. 207881)
When I was at Mississippi State, we did our 4th year architecture project designing a building on or a across from this exact spot. I saw the street names and recognized it immediately. This property lies on the outermost corner of the Vieux Carré. As such, we were required to do extensive research on the site, including building codes for New Orleans City and the Vieux Carré itself which had a completely different set of codes and restrictions for the site in order to maintain the quaintness of the French Quarter. We also researched information on the water table of the site. In that area, the water table is only 20ft below the surface. If someone took shortcuts in preparing the site and footings for construction, it might have contributed to the collapse, especially with the marshy subsurface in the area. Just my 2 cents, but I would love to hear from one of the resident structural engineers here at LCom for their opinion.
9 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: cor-vet 10/15/2019 10:11:42 AM (No. 207915)
Someone might want to check the bank accounts of the field inspectors. All the high level bribes mean nothing, unles you can get the inspectors on site togo along.
2 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: paral04 10/15/2019 11:24:38 AM (No. 207996)
The contractor probably cheated on their concrete mixing.
0 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: bighambone 10/15/2019 11:39:22 AM (No. 208007)
Weak foreign steel?
0 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: DVC 10/15/2019 4:01:53 PM (No. 208214)
This structural engineer is suspicious of some contractor providing substandard materials, or less steel being used than specified, or steel rebar being installed incorrectly, inspectors paid off. NOLA is well known as a very corrupt town. Likely corrupt and/or criminal activity was responsible. A Korean multistory store building collapsed a few years back, within a year of construction. It was also steel reinforced concrete, like this building. That investigation found that much of the necessary steel rebar was omitted (more profit for the contractor) and much of the concrete was short on portland cement. Portland cement is what holds the sand and gravel together, and is the primary expense for concrete. Using less Portand cement than specified gets a higher profit, and lower strength concrete. And things fall down.
2 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: DVC 10/15/2019 4:02:39 PM (No. 208215)
This structural engineer is suspicious of some contractor providing substandard materials, or less steel being used than specified, or steel rebar being installed incorrectly, inspectors paid off. NOLA is well known as a very corrupt town. Likely corrupt and/or criminal activity was responsible. A Korean multistory store building collapsed a few years back, within a year of construction. It was also steel reinforced concrete, like this building. That investigation found that much of the necessary steel rebar was omitted (more profit for the contractor) and much of the concrete was short on Portland cement. Portland cement is what holds the sand and gravel together, and is the primary expense for concrete. Using less Portand cement than specified gets a higher profit, and lower strength concrete. And things fall down. Likely the same sort of stuff going on here.
0 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: DVC 10/15/2019 4:04:24 PM (No. 208218)
Sorry for the double post. Not quite sure how that happened.
0 people like this.

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