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New Inspection Report About Arena From Company That Built It, State it's Safe

7:26 AM, Mar 17, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- We now have two different reports on the condition of this Veterans Memorial Arena.  We just received a report from Turner Construction, the company that built the arena.  It disagrees with many of the safety issues an independent third party report found. 

The Turner Construction report the company just presented to the City of Jacksonville covers 12 areas of concern.  Those 12 areas were some of the many safety questions this independent report from engineering firm THP warned the city about, after a series of investigations.

We are just going to compare three issues, to show the difference of opinion between the two different company's findings.

First:  The THP report warns cast stone quote "can be moved by hand, confirming that the bond between the mortar and the cap has been lost."

The Turner report responds, "The contract documents show the placement in the vertical joint so this is not an issue.

Second:  The THP report warns "Ledge angles attached to concrete with missing or poorly seated anchors."

The Turner report responds:  "Turner has had an independent structural engineer visually inspect the exterior masonry walls around the perimeter of the building and those observations have not found any apparent structural issues with the ledge angles."

And a third point of contrast between the two reports:  THP finds, quote, "Parapet cap stones without anchorage."

Turner states, "The design documents allow for installation in mortar (and do not require mechanical anchoring)."

We wanted to interview the city about the differences in these two reports.  We asked to speak with the person in charge of determining which report is credible, and we asked to interview Mayor Alvin Brown.  Angela Spears, a spokeswoman for the Mayor replied by e-mail, quote "Turner is fully responsible for all remediation work at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena." 

Although this Turner report states, "As previously noted in prior correspondence, Turner will begin activity to repair the Arena without accepting or assigning liability.  At such time as a final analysis to determine who is responsible for the masonry issues has been completed, Turner and the City of Jacksonville will work jointly to recoup costs of the repairs and remediation from the responsible parties."

We also just got a letter Turner wrote the city, stating "... the brick veneer walls of the building are safe for arena occupants and patrons."  Turner will also not agree to an on-camera interview with us.

First Coast News

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