SURFSIDE, Fla. – Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett toured the site of the Champaign Towers South collapse on Friday, along with representatives from Miami-Dade County, the police department and the state attorney’s office.
“We’re not in the business of taking any chances,” he said.
It came one day after Local 10 News exclusively reported the serious concerns structural engineer Allyn Kilsheimer has about the foundational walls and the safety of Collins Avenue.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also released a statement Friday saying the county will take the concerns raised by the Surfside-hired expert “extremely seriously.”
“That’s why we moved immediately to contract a company that will do shoring and bracing of the walls to mitigate any possible risk,” her statement said. “We are also reevaluating the timeline to open Collins Avenue until we are confident all needed steps have been taken to assure the public’s safety.”
With 63 years of experience, Kilsheimer was hired by the town of Surfside to get to the bottom of why the condominium suddenly collapsed on June 24. He now says there is a safety issue with the site where millions of pounds of debris have been removed, and also along Collins Avenue.
It could mean that anyone walking even near the site could be in danger, he said.
“If this wasn’t fixed and the street was totally open and the traffic wasn’t limited and you were walking on the sidewalk, I’d go to the other side of the street,” Kilsheimer told Local 10 News on Thursday.
He wrote a letter to Surfside’s town manager, its police chief and Levine Cava laying out his concerns.
“We believe there is a potentially dangerous situation at the site, where the wall is in danger of collapse,” Kilsheimer wrote. “It is essentially acting as a bathtub, which it was not designed to be. When the exterior ground becomes saturated with rainwater, the situation becomes more severe.”