MIAMI (AP) — The Miami-Dade County Courthouse will begin undergoing repairs immediately because of safety concerns found during a review prompted by the deadly collapse of a nearby condominium building, officials said.
An engineering firm that examined the 28-story courthouse recommended that it undergo immediate structural repairs and that floors 16 and above be closed. All courthouse employees, including those who work on lower floors, will return to working from home, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and other leaders said in a joint statement late Friday.
In its report, engineering firm U.S. Structures Inc. said that during its June 30 inspection, it found structural distress in various structural members such as support beams and joists, including steel columns that are in “poor condition" and concrete columns that have numerous cracks.
“In general, we observed numerous members with visible signs of structural deterioration that have been documented and reported by this and other firms for quite some time now. Many of these members are in an advance state of deterioration,” inspector Jose Toledo wrote in the firm’s Tuesday letter to Miami-Dade County officials.
The announcement about the courthouse, which is in Miami, came during the third week of the search for victims of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in nearby Surfside. On Saturday, authorities raised the confirmed death toll to 86, with 43 people still missing.
The courthouse, which was completed in 1928 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, is where most civil cases are heard and contains some administrative offices. Separate courthouses for criminal, children's and family cases are not affected.
Workers only recently returned to the building after working...