Engineer Deems Downtown Buildings ‘Structurally Unsafe’

Posted at 6:02 PM, Apr 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-02 18:02:40-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (April 2, 2014) – The City of Grand Rapids Engineer’s office has closed a sidewalk near a couple of downtown buildings because there’s a concern for public safety.

“The buildings at 35 and 41 S. Division have been determined to be structurally unsafe. It appears that soil located immediately beneath the two buildings is causing significant structural problems to the front portions of these buildings. Bowing of the Division Ave wall facade, racked widows and loosened brick can be observed”, said City Engineer Mark DeClercq in a media release.

The City is concerned that falling bricks could jeopardize public safety for pedestrians using both the Division Avenue and Weston Street sidewalks.

Right now, there’s a series of orange barrels and concrete barricades in place to keep people out of harms way.  The area starts at the southwest corner of the Division Avenue and Weston Street intersection and extends south to 41 S. Division Avenue along the eastern portion of Weston Street.  The S. Division southbound travel lane will be closed to vehicular traffic immediately south of Weston.

A City Building Code Official is in the process of issuing a notice to repair or demolish the structures based on their current conditions.

“We are currently working with the owners to assess the properties and determine the best approach to address the deteriorating conditions of the structures”, said City Building Code Official Mark Fleet.

The City says the property owners are currently considering their options.