Broward County to reopen upper floors of courthouse after cracks spur structural concerns

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The upper floors of the Broward County Courthouse will soon reopen after they were temporarily closed due to possible structural issues.

According to a news release from the county Thursday, engineers conducted “extensive inspections,” testing, and evaluations “with a variety of methods and technologies” before deeming the courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale structurally sound and safe.

“I would like to thank everyone for their patience while we conducted the necessary inspections with internal and external experts. Public safety of the employees and visitors at the courthouse was and will continue to be our priority,” said Monica Cepero, Broward County Administrator.

It’s unclear when exactly the upper levels will reopen.

“Broward County Public Works engineers, in partnership with the building’s designers and engineers, as well as an independent engineering firm, have all been part of the evaluation of the courthouse’s current condition,” the news release stated.

Photos released last month show the extent of the cracks that prompted concern among staff members. Those staff members reported the cracks to county engineers.

The photos show breaks in the concrete beams more than 30 feet above the roof deck, forcing the closure of floors 18 through 21.

Floors 18 through 19 were the only ones that had workers. Officials deemed the rest of the building safe.

Officials last month said they concerned that a building erected less than a decade ago is already experiencing breaks in its concrete.

“A building that is seven years old shouldn’t be demonstrating this,” Broward County Public Works Director Trevor Fisher said.

Fisher said he did not want to speculate as to the cause of the cracks and said the county was hiring a second company to get another opinion on the matter.

“What they determined (is) that the cracks were pretty much the side of a credit card,” he said. “We have identified it and we have had the calculations performed to make sure it is safe for reopening.”

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.