Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Our Daily Bread: Pittsburgh will down five-year old convention center, taxpayers will fund new one

Mario Lemieux said to be "royally pissed"

Pittsburgh's David L. Lawrence Convention Center has collapsed. Well, not entirely but it appears there are some problems. During setup for the Pittsburgh Auto Show, a concrete slab collapsed under the weight of a tractor trailer. Although no convention center official has offered anything more substantive than a shoulder shrug, the Post-Gazette's Patricia Lowry highlights some possibilities in a very good interview with Matthys Levy, an engineer and author of "Why Buildings Fall Down." (not found on the NYT best-seller list).

These reasons fall into two categories:
1. Design flaw - unlikely
2. Material deficiency - more likely

Lowry offers this tidbit sure to raise eyebrows amongst investigators:
Cracks in the concrete, however, could be cause for concern. In November 2002, dozens of cracks were reported in parts of the center's concrete floors, including several in a large exhibit hall on the second floor and many more in service corridors on the third level. The cracks varied in width from hairlines in many places to as much as a quarter-inch or three-eighths of an inch in a few spots. Some were up to half an inch deep. All were considered to be cosmetic, not structural.

Before the building opened, a steel truss collapsed and killed a construction worker. And prior to that problem, caissons, which are the underground steel and concrete columns used to support the building had to straightened.

This story is hilarious. The floor of a brand-spankin' new convention center has collapsed! This new building has been an atrocity. Remember when Stephen Leeper promised that a new building would lure huge conventions - and mega-bucks - into the city? The convention center cannot even pay their bills.
Let's watch these jackasses sweat their jobs. Fire 'em all, I say!

No comments: