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Work resumes on 4th and Race development one week after partial collapse

Posted at 9:05 AM, Dec 03, 2019

CINCINNATI — A week after a building under construction partially collapsed at 4th and Race street, crews are scheduled to return to work at the site where one worker died and four others were injured.

According to a statement from Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), Thornton Tomasetti, a structural engineering consulting firm, thoroughly reviewed the construction site at the corner of 4th and Race street and found work could continue in parts of the site.

Their review found levels one through five and the eastern parts of the sixth and seventh levels were safe for work to resume. Workers will set up barricades around the unsafe western portions of levels six and seven where the collapse happened.

Once the barricades are up, one crew will work to remove the remaining debris from the collapsed areas.

While this is happening, other crews will begin pouring concrete for four additional columns to help support the eighth level, as well as other prep work. No other concrete will be poured, however, until the Department of Buildings and Inspections and an independent third party have signed off on a new shoring plan.

"We did get permission to pour four concrete columns for the 8th flood," said Joe Rudemiller, vice president of marketing and communications for 3CDC. "However, no other concrete pours are permitted at this time until we have the city building inspections department, as well as independent third party come in and approve a new plan."

3CDC also wrote that project partners are still working to figure out why the collapse happened.

The building being constructed is a $44 million mixed-use development meant to include a parking garage, retail space and apartments when complete. 3CDC employed Turner Construction as a contractor and Turner Construction and Gateway Concrete Forming as sub-contractors to work on the site.

According to a statement from 3CDC, workers had been pouring concrete from the unfinished seventh floor to the sixth below when part of the structure gave out. Three were quickly transported to hospitals: Two to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and one to Christ Hospital.

A statement from Turner Construction said all three had been treated and released from various hospitals without incident. The statement also mentioned a fourth injured worker — also treated and also released — for the first time.

The search for the fifth worker lasted more than 30 hours before emergency crews pulled the body of 58-year-old Preston Todd Delph out of the rubble.

“The heart of the City of Cincinnati goes out to the family and friends of the deceased,” Cincinnati City Manager Patrick Duhaney wrote in an email to other members of City Council. “I cannot imagine the grief this family must be going through at this time.”

Delph, who worked for subcontractor Gateway Concrete Forming, had been checking for concrete seepage on the sixth floor of the Fourth and Race garage around 1:15 Monday afternoon, according to a spokesman from Turner Construction. When other workers began to pour concrete from the seventh floor to the sixth, the floor above him collapsed.

One resident has taken the struggle of the workers, including Delph's family, to heart and is working to raise money for everyone involved.

"When I found out, I was just really really moved by the situation," said Rachel Jackson, who has currently raised more than $1,000. "I've never been so close to something like that happening."

Jackson works near by, and felt she needed to do something to help. She said she hopes part of the money she's raising will go to the charity listed in Delph's obituary: The Alzheimer's Association. But the other part of the donation, she hopes, will go to buy the workers coffees and lunches to help take the stress off their days as they head back to work.

Gateway Concrete Forming officials released a statement mourning Delph and thanking the teams who spent the day searching for him.

"This is an extremely sorrowful time and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and co-workers at this difficult time," a company spokesman wrote. "We want to thank the region’s first responders, emergency service workers and the American Red Cross volunteers for their tireless and selfless efforts through this entire ordeal. We are encouraging workers to utilize the grief counseling services that are available to them in the difficult days and weeks ahead."