A new letter from Morabito Consultants, the structural engineering firm hired by the Tour Champlain Sud condominium council to perform a structural analysis of the building, addressed to Chairman of the Board Jean Wodnicki and property manager Scott Stewart in October 2020 provides a nine-page summary of “Phase 11A Work Done at Champlain Towers South (CTS)” and provides additional insight into the repair work done on the building in the years leading up to last week’s fatal collapse.
Concrete Protection & Restoration Inc. (CPR), a company that provides commercial and industrial concrete restoration services, carried out the work with the assistance of Morabito Consultants – who said they reviewed and in some cases led the work. – in the letter that was obtained. by CNN’s âErin Burnett OutFrontâ.
Here are some key elements included in the letter:
- Morabito Consultants noted that the full restoration and repair work on the pool corbel and the wall repair work in the pool pump room could not be done, stating in the letter that “areas of deteriorated concrete appeared to penetrate deep into the wall / corbel construction âand thatâ aggressive excavation of concrete at the severely deteriorated pool corbel could affect the stability of the remaining adjacent concrete constructions. ”
- Another reason given for the non-completion of the work was that “repairs conforming to the ICRI (International Concrete Repair Institute)” required access to the interior of the swimming pool, which, according to the document, “had to remain in place. service for the duration of this job. “
- All loose concrete around the perimeter of the pool pump room that showed signs of cracking, chipping, deterioration and presented a “fall hazard” was removed by the concrete restoration company, according to the summary of work.
In an April letter of this year to the residents of the building, Wodnicki discussed the exponential deterioration of concrete that had occurred in the years between the initial investigation carried out by Morabito Consultants from 2018 to 2021.
“Concrete deterioration is accelerating,” Wodnicki wrote. “The observable damage, such as in the garage, has worsened significantly since the initial inspection (2018),” CNN previously reported.
There is currently no indication that deterioration of the concrete contributed to the collapse of the building last month, but it does point to some major repair work needed at the Tour Champlain South condominium complex.
The companies also carried out an “exploratory demolition” in five areas of the first floor of the property and said they found “curious results with respect to the depth of the structural slab” in the summary document. Further details were not provided to explain what the “curious findings” were, but Morabito Consultants requested “that further groundwork be done by the CPR to confirm / clarify said findings” in the letter.
The summary detailed several other projects carried out by CPR during the Phase 11A work, which included the removal of a deteriorated stair column base and the replacement of the bottom with “a new HSS steel section”.
The company also performed an exploratory demolition on a suspended soffit, which, according to Morabito Consultants, requires “the removal and reconstruction of the soffit itself due to the conditions observed”.
Corrective demolition work was also carried out on the balcony soffits of 114 units in the complex. CPR removed âall cracked, chipped, deteriorated and delaminated concrete and all deteriorated, loose or failing stuccoâ from the residents’ balconies.
The existence of this letter and the details of the work carried out were first reported by USA Today.
CNN has reached out to Morabito Consultants and Concrete Protection & Restoration Inc. for comment, but has not received a response.
There has also been no response to attempts by CNN to contact Wodnicki, Stewart and other representatives of the Champlain Towers South condo association.
Remember: While this document provides further understanding of the nature of the repair work carried out before the collapse, there are still many unknowns regarding the work that had not yet been completed on the building as the condominium association was preparing. to its 40-year certification.
The full extent of the concrete work required by Champlain Towers South remains uncertain, as does the specific work entrusted to Morabito Consultants and CPR and whether this work had been planned or was in the process of being completed.
Watch CNN’s Tom Foreman detail the 2020 letter here: