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Idaho Falls inspects underground parking lots after collapse

Idaho Falls inspects underground parking lots after collapse

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - After a crane fell into an underground parking lot May 6, the City of Idaho Falls began inspecting underground parking lots throughout downtown.

More than a month later, the hole in the Bank of Commerce parking lot remains condemned and considered dangerous. Building Official Reginald Fuller said the city moved quickly.

"We walked through it, assessed what the damage was, and then the fire marshal and myself posted the property as dangerous," said Fuller.

Fuller and Fire Marshal Ken Anderson found that the steel beams and columns had grossly deteriorated, thanks to water intrusion. An engineering firm, as well as a materials testing firm, are searching for a solution.

"They're assessing the structural condition of the structure of what's left of it now, and then making determinations on what remediation methods would be best," said Fuller.

Anderson said it's hard to judge what loads structures will hold before "something like this."

After the collapse, the city inspected an underground garage at 555 N. Yellowstone Ave. and an underground warehouse at Melaleuca on N. Capital Avenue.

"We targeted those particular ones," said Anderson. "They had parking lots on top, so we had concern with the cars."

They proved to have only minor water intrusion and cosmetic flaws. Four other underground garages lie beneath buildings at 477 Shoup Ave., 501 Park Ave., 497 N. Capital Ave., and 357 Constitution Ave. Fuller said the city plans to inspect them soon.

"The ones under buildings, for the most part, don't have the problem with the amount of water intrusion that you're going to get when it's a parking lot," said Fuller.

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