RALEIGH, N.C. — Three workers from North Carolina died in a parking deck collapse in Rockville, Md. Another collapse took place two years ago at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Both incidents involved a company that used concrete for projects around the Triangle. The latest incident has some wondering if the decks in the area are safe.
The parking garage behind Raleigh City Hall is one of many in the Triangle built with concrete sections made by Tindall Corp. of South Carolina. Despite the company's connection to two failed projects, inspectors tell WRAL it is too early to say whether any local projects will even get a second look.
Tindall Corp. and several other subcontractors have settled lawsuits in the Lowe's Motor Speedway walkway collapse two years ago that injured 100 people. On Friday, three workers, including Jose Ramirez, of Raleigh, and Hubaldo Andrade, of Chapel Hill, died when part of a seven-story parking garage came crashing down in Maryland.
Tindall Corp. supplied the prefabricated concrete sections for the garage. Company President Steve Kalosis told WRAL that he sees no connection between the structural failures, and he believes the public has no reason to worry about hundreds of other Tindall projects.
He said, "We remain confident in our design and products. I'm very comfortable with the safety and integrity of all our structures."
Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville is supported by Tindall's concrete walls. Tindall supplied the prefabricated concrete for an MCI parking garage in Cary, Northgate Mall's garage in Durham and the parking facilities at WakeMed in Raleigh.
Raleigh building inspector Curt Willis said while he evaluates structural integrity during construction, he must take the word of the company's engineer that the pre-fab concrete is sound.
"We have permits issued and then we start the inspection phase, which includes the footings, casings and foundations," he said.
Willis said he does not suspect problems in any of the Tindall projects in the Triangle area.
"If we had any doubts that there as a structural compromimse of any building built in Raleigh, we'd definitely go back and investigate it thoroughly," he said.
Building inspectors typically never return to reinspect facilities unless there is a reported problem. WRAL has found no record of any problems yet at Tindall facilities in the Triangle.
In 1993, Crabtree Valley Mall was the site of a parking deck collapse. A 40-by-115-foot section of the parking deck crashed in the middle of the night. The mall was closed, so no one was underneath. The concrete for that parking deck was supplied by a different company than the supplier for the Lowe's walkway and the Maryland parking garage.