• ‘Potential life safety hazards' forcing closure of Public Works facility


    PITTSBURGH - A Public Works facility in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood is closing after it was found to be structurally deficient, two years after a Target 11 investigation exposed the poor conditions.

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    That report first revealed pictures from inside the buildings of water leaks and mineral and salt deposits hanging from the ceiling.

    Now a brand new study by an engineering firm discovered major issues with the roof: it may not be able to support snow this winter.


    “Potential life safety hazards” were found in August by structural engineers Walter P. Moore Associates, prompting the Department of Public Works and the Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections to call for the closure of the Division 4 facility on Bausman Street.

    On Monday, Channel 11 spoke with chief operations officer Guy Costa, and he promised residents won't see an impact on city services.

    "It's something we need to do but i want to ensure the residents that ... their services should not be affected because snow operations, the salt dome will remain at the fourth division," Costa said.

    The storage shed and salt dome at the Bausman Street site were previously called an “eyesore” and were rated to be in critical to fair condition after condition assessments by the Massaro Corp.

    No employees will lose their jobs. Half of them will be transferred to the third division in Oakland and half to the fifth division in Sheraden. 

    The facility will close at the end of October. It will be demolished in mid-November.

    The Walter P. Moore report found the following:

    • Overhead roof structure presents a structural concern that it may not be able to support the code-required snow loads.
    • Occupant safety beneath the roof structural systems is a concern.
    • Pedestrian safety is a concern “due to the deteriorated state of the face component and potential for overhead hazards.”
    • Second level garage framing and load bearing walls are “showing signs of distress.” The corrosion “is a sign that there may be more underlying conditions.”
    • Steel beams are supporting the street cleaners and small pickup trucks. “Deflection was not observed, only corrosion and deterioration. This means that the floors can support the current equipment; however, larger equipment may cause deflection.”

    The report estimated repairs would cost $1.27 million.


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