A long gash in the ceiling of a parking garage at a Key Biscayne condominium is not a cause for concern, according to Village Manager Steve Williamson, who visited the site today after a video showing a crack traveled widely on social media. The recording made at the Towers of Key Biscayne stoked anxiety in the wake of the condo collapse in Surfside, Florida.
The Village, meanwhile, has identified 81 buildings that are in different phases of the safety certification process, and an initial review of records shows no indication of anything amiss, Williamson said. Officials are still reviewing files, however.
The short video clip showing a portion of the lower garage near Tower A of the condo prompted calls from local TV stations, too. The association’s board issued a statement saying the video depicts an expansion joint and is not a crack indicating damage to concrete.
Expansion joints are features that allow buildings to expand and contract safely.
“The manager invited us out there,” Williamson said, adding that a team of fire and building inspectors looked at the area, finding nothing amiss.
Williamson said the initial survey of buildings in Key Biscayne found 30 structures near the 40 year certification mark, 28 at 50 years, 18 at 60 years and five at 70 years. Of those, he said 17 buildings have certifications that are due in 2021.
The Village is planning a community meeting with Rene Velazco, the chief building official tomorrow (Thursday) at 6:30 pm at the Community Center to discuss plans for maintenance and structural integrity of Key Biscayne buildings. Williamson said Raquel Regalado, who represents Key Biscayne on the County Commission, will also attend.
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.