Surfside, FL

Miami-Dade courthouse building closes indefinitely amid inspections following Surfside collapse

Adriana Jimenez

(Miami-Dade County) The Miami-Dade County Courthouse closed this week for immediate repairs due to security concerns. These were discovered during a review after a building collapsed in Surfside, Florida, where 90 people have died, and 31 are still unaccounted for, to date, according to authorities.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced that an engineering firm would examine all public buildings in the county. In the case of the 28-story courthouse, the engineering office identified "security concerns" and "recommended that floors 16 and above be closed to staff while repairs are quickly completed," county officials announced in a joint statement.

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The Miami-Dade County CourthouseGetty Images

For the past year, building staff have been working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had returned to the office in recent days. However, due to the repairs, officials will return to work from their homes starting next Monday, Mayor Levine Cava said. In addition, all judicial matters processed there will be carried out remotely. 

The engineering firm US Structures Inc. said in a report that during its inspection of the building on June 30, it found damage to several structural parts, such as beams and support columns, including pieces of steel that are in "poor condition" and concrete columns that have numerous cracks, according to AP. "In general, we observed numerous members with visible signs of structural deterioration that have been documented and reported by this and other firms for quite some time now. Many of these members are in an advance state of deterioration," said inspector Jose Toledo in the firm's letter to Miami-Dade County officials. 

In its report, the engineering firm warned that a column on the 25th floor needed "immediate attention" and urged that it be repaired within 30 days. In addition, engineers recommended that county officials remove heavy items such as books, office supplies, and sandbags stored on the upper floors. 

The closing of the property, located at 73 West Flagler Street in downtown Miami, comes two weeks after the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, north of Miami Beach.

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