RAPID CITY, S.D. – Construction crews worked overnight to stabilize an elevator shaft that became unstable Thursday afternoon.
Authorities in downtown Rapid City closed Saint Joseph Street between 7th Street and 5th Street and buildings in the area were also evacuated following the structural – integrity issue at the Block 5 construction site.
Construction crews reported they noticed the foundation of one of the elevator shafts was shifting and immediately notified authorities.
The shaft was leaning to the south, towards Kansas City Street. The area remained closed to the public Friday morning.
The construction company announced that crews made significant progress overnight Thursday, removing two of the panels from the elevator shaft, reducing the weight of the structure by 65 tons. The project engineer says he is 100-percent certain the structure is now stable.
Construction crews continued to work Friday morning removing additional panels. Officials will continue to evaluate and monitor the progress with a goal of reopening the affected area to traffic by noon.
THIS IS AN UPDATE FROM OUR EARLIER STORY BELOW:
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Authorities in Rapid City are looking into a structural-integrity issue affecting the foundation of a tower at the Block 5 construction site downtown.
Authorities have closed Saint Joseph Street between 7th Street and 5th Street in case the tower should collapse. Buildings in the area were also evacuated Thursday evening.
Construction workers reported they noticed the foundation of one of the elevator shafts was shifting just after 4 p.m. MT.
Rapid City officials say the tower is leaning to the south, towards Kansas City Street. Police Chief Don Hedrick says the construction company plans to start working to take the tower down and that will take some time. Construction crews were also going to try to shore up the tower to keep it from collapsing.
Police and fire units were on scene to monitor the situation and authorities were asking the public to avoid the area for their own safety.
Lloyd Companies is the developer for the project; it released the following statement on the situation Thursday evening:
Earlier this afternoon, a portion of the foundation beneath an elevator tower at Block 5 has been compromised. The construction teams on the site have halted work, and the site has been evacuated out of an abundance of caution. There have been no injuries.
Our teams are evaluating the situation with local authorities and are working to stabilize the elevator tower. Our top priority is to maintain safety for those working in and around the project, as well as the surrounding properties. We are continuing to investigate the incident and will communicate further updates as they become available.