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Construction in Cincinnati Continues After Fatality

Thursday, December 5, 2019

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On Tuesday (Dec. 3), work resumed on a Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) mixed-use project after a partial collapse that resulted in the injury of four workers and one death.

Work on the $44 million downtown Cincinnati project is being conducted through a partnership between 3CDC and Indianapolis-based developer Flaherty & Collins Properties on Fourth and Race streets, with construction being carried out by Turner Construction Company.

The Partial Collapse

On Nov. 25, crews were reportedly pouring concrete on the seventh floor of the project’s future parking garage while a Gateway Concrete Forming employee was standing on the sixth floor, monitoring for structural stress and concrete seepage.

According to Cincinnati Fire Chief Roy Winston, 420 cubic yards of concrete was placed when the structure gave way, creating a 200-foot-by-40-foot opening. However, reports claim that the structure’s reinforced-concrete floor was supported by shoring and forms during concrete placement and curing.

After the collapse, four workers were treated at local hospitals for injuries and a search for a missing worker began. It wasn’t until the following evening, after a 30-hour search, that rescue teams were able to recover the deceased worker.

“It is with great sadness that we confirm that an employee of Gateway Concrete Forming died at the Fourth and Race construction site following the collapse of a section of temporary concrete form work,” said Turner in a statement.

“This is an extremely sorrowful time and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and co-workers at this difficult time. We want to thank the region’s first responders, emergency service workers and Red Cross volunteers for their tireless and selfless efforts through this entire ordeal.”

Following the incident, Turner hired structural engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti to perform an evaluation of the construction site for safety and stability. Cleanup efforts for the incident’s aftermath have also reportedly taken place.

What’s Happening Now

After conducting an evaluation, Thornton Tomasetti deemed that work could resume on the first five floors of the mixed-use development. The City of Cincinnati’s Department of Buildings and Inspections has also authorized work to continue on the eastern portion of the building.

However, 3CDC reports that prior to full construction commencement, crews will have to install barricades on the western portions on Levels 6 and 7, so that the area of collapse is separated from safe working areas. Following the placement of barricades, work will be permitted on the eastern part of the structure.

In moving forward, crews are also permitted to pour four columns to support Level 8, but no other concrete can be poured on the site until both the Department of Buildings and Inspections and an independent third party sign off on a new shoring plan.

A separate crew has been instructed to safely demolish the remaining damaged areas on the western portion that suffered from the partial collapse.

The Cincinnati Fire Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are still investigating the incident and are slated to issue a final report to the public within six months. Other project partners and federal workplace officials have also opened investigations.

When construction is complete, the mixed-use development intends to feature a 584-space above-grade parking garage, a 264-unit apartment tower and 22,000 square feet of street-level commercial space.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Commercial Construction; Construction; Developers; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; NA; North America; PaintSquare App - Commercial; Residential Construction; Safety

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