NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The ongoing saga of the deadly Hard Rock collapse may soon be over. It’s been over a year, but developers are making headway with some significant demolition.
Seeing the Canal Street side of the concrete structure was a welcome sight for businesses, Tuesday.
“It affected the business a lot because we have a restaurant business and the drivers are facing really such a problem picking up the food because they have to take a long route and customers are also getting low, so we are waiting for it to get fixed as soon as possible,” Cleo’s employee, Satish Bishnoi said.
Through litigation, safety violations, hurricanes and a fire, this skeleton may finally be done haunting 1031 Canal Street. It serves as a constant reminder of tragedy.
Three people were lost, dozens were injured when the upper floors of the 18-story building came down in October of 2019. Two victims’ bodies remained trapped in the rubble for 10 months.
“We’re now on target to finish three to four weeks, we’ll be out of there,” Stephen Dwyer said.
Dwyer represents the developers, 1031 Canal, and says the steel structure is gone and the concrete demolition is off to a great start.
“There’s been no damage to any surrounding buildings, which people worried about that, that might happen, but that has not been the case, particularly with respect to the Saenger,” Dwyer said. “Everyone was worried that the center could be damaged if the if the demolition weren’t controlled in the proper way.”
All surrounding streets are open except for Rampart, which Dwyer says will be open again in three to four weeks.
Some businesses have been able to reopen, while others were forced to close as crews have been dismantling structure piece by piece since May, hitting roadblocks along the way.
“We’ve had about three named storms that have had that have shut us down, but in terms of our being able to proceed according to the engineering plan that we started with, it’s been it’s been perfect,” Dwyer said. “There’s been no problems and everything has gone according to plan.”
But what’s the plan after the structure is gone?
“Until that is accomplished, we’re not going to be thinking about anything in the future, we’re just thinking about today and making sure this building comes down as safely as we can get it down,” Dwyer said.
Dwyer adds there has been no injuries during demolition.
Several lawsuits are currently playing out in court both against and filed by the developers.
Dwyer did not have any further comment on that litigation.
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