We are getting our first look at the reason behind some structural concerns at a South Florida courthouse.
Large cracks are visible on beams at the Broward County Courthouse, and the top floors of the building are currently off limits.
Despite that, Broward County officials said the cracks pose no threat to the public.
“I think it’s impotrant for our employees and the public to understand that if we felt that there was a danger, we would have taken more stringent actions to protect them,” said Broward County Public Works Director Trevor Fisher during an official meeting, Tuesday.
Fisher said they forwarded a photo of the cracks to the designers of the courthouse on Thursday.
He said they came out to the building a day later and found the photos were “deceivingly alarming.”
“They found that the cracks were not as wide as they thought it was initially,” said Fisher.
The beams hang 30 feet over the roof of the courthouse.
Workers have been setting up scaffolding up there so consultants can have a closer look.
Officials said they have engineers on site and hired an independent contractor to give a second opinion.
“I am expecting that between today and tomorrow we will be able to have full access that they needed to have, and we would start the additional testing that they have requested of us because they wanted to make sure that the cracks have been stabilized and there is no further action,” said Fisher.
“A lot of folks are working around the clock to make sure that we are operating the building in the safest fashion, and we’re evaluating every aspect of this,” said County Administrator Monica Cepero.
The top four floors of the courthouse remain closed to the public as officials work to identify the source of the cracks.