If you hadn’t heard, a Hard Rock Hotel under construction here in New Orleans partially collapsed last weekend, wounding maybe 18 people and killing 3 (it’s a wonder it wasn’t more - it was at one of the most busy intersections in the city on a Saturday morning). One of those wounded is now up for deportation. It has been upsetting in general, and now I am so deeply depressed about this.
As we speak, they are gearing up to demolish some cranes fucking TEETERING on the top of it (::stressed face emoji::). The livestream is here (update - I fucked up that link but also it doesn’t work anymore so use the video below instead ) - I don’t know what the situation will be like by the time you read this. Hope it goes fine! They’ve been unable to stabilize the rest of the building or recover all the bodies or anything because of these cranes. My friend can see them from her office and she told me one is apparently leaning a lot.
Louisiana has the most incarcerated migrants of any state because - surprise - we have the beefed up prison infrastructure to house them. I have been marginally involved with our local chapter of Abuelas Responden, and there are a lot of immigration lawyers and other do-gooders that I have become connected with and they are constantly raising hell in the ways their powers let them. So that is at least good. Louisiana: we’re not TOTALLY full of fuckheads!
That’s the gist of what I wanted to tell you, but read on if you want my long-winded perspective on the situation:
The project and project site have had a lot of drama (and of course, they demolished a historic Civil Rights-significant building to make room for it). My background/past life is actually in architecture and construction and so I personally know a couple of the players here and one of them was sounding the alarm to me a few months ago when we ran into each other. He was worried about this project and was trying to tell every authority who would hear him. Understandably, he now can’t talk to anyone about this so I don’t have more info from him.
I know enough about the process to know that we, on the outside, do not know what happened. There are a bunch of internet commenters playing engineer saying the beams are too far apart - and this is after someone released a blurry video saying the same thing before it collapsed. But even an expert cannot tell from that alone without more info - beams may look far apart, but what structure was inside the floor? What grade of steel are the beams? How large are they? Too many variables. It’s clearly on the engineering/structural side, but don’t fixate on the beams.
But we’ll see what investigations turn up. I don’t know who fucked up exactly. I think it’s unlikely the engineers or architect were stamping drawings haphazardly because something like this would cost their entire careers if they were found to be negligent. Engineers and architects went through A LOT to earn that stamp, and pay a lot of money for insurance and to keep that stamp - I would be SHOCKED to find out any of these players were crooked. Contractors and clients sometimes cut corners but they could only get away with doing it at the structural phrase if the architect is crooked or just a fucking slacker.
If the builders were building from not stamped drawings, the fault lies with them. If the drawings were all stamped and done but the builders weren’t following them to cut corners (which is a frequent occurrence in construction), that’s also on the contractor. However, if the architect was contracted to do Construction Administration (CA), it’s his job to make sure the contractor is following drawings and to manage the schedule and money - in which case, it gets tricky because you have to find out what the architect knew and what was done deceptively.
So anyway, mysteries!
Update at 2:50 CST
Ummm this doesn’t seem great.
One of the cranes is dangling on a previously undamaged part of the building over a major road. The other flew off and is sticking STRAIGHT UP out of the other major road. It just fucking punctured it. a;lgkalgjaflkja;lhakja;lkj;alkgj
Based on my understanding they were supposed to collapse in on each other.