Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Shuckers Restaurant Deck Collapse: Thinking Inside the Box

The piling-supported deck of a waterfront North Miami Beach restaurant, under the weight of 100 or so patrons, collapsed recently.  The municipality in question had recently completed a building inspection that is mandatory for structures 40 years and older.  The restaurant passed the inspection.

“We took it for granted that the whole thing was in there,” said [Building Official Raul] Rodriguez, who signed off on the completed inspection in January.
*   *   *
The concrete blocks covering reinforced steel supporting the deck had deteriorated and  .   .   . much of the steel itself was eaten away, he said Monday in a press conference, four days after the deck of the popular spot collapsed, injuring 24 people as fans cheered on the Miami Heat.
Rodriguez also said Monday that after closely studying a required 40-year inspection for the restaurant and bar, he did not find any mention of an inspection of the deck.

Still, he said, the 40-year inspection determined all buildings and structures and electrical outlets on the property were in good working order – which village officials thought included the deck.
*   *   *

[Engineer Steven] Jawitz, who wrote the January report, responded that Miami-Dade County building code does not require the deck to be inspected. He said he only cleared the building and its electrical system. He refused to say why the deck wasn’t inspected, or whether that decision was his or the restaurant’s owners.

Another example of bureaucratic thinking that hurts people.  If it's not on my checklist, then it's not my job.  Never mind that the point of the exercise is the safety of the citizens who pay the taxes that support the bureaucrat.

And we want to entrust just everything to these people so we can do what, exactly?

Addendum:  Ultimately, the responsibility belongs to the owner.  I haven't verified this, but a friend told me that the owner had pulled a permit to repair the deck in 2011, but had not done anything further. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this update. I'm pretty sure this building was never inspected beforehand.  This incident is never possible to happen if proper inspection was done earlier.  People maybe warned about its status if proper attention was given.