Thursday, June 4, 2009
A new engineering report recommends that three sections of bleachers at Memorial Stadium remain closed and the nearby concourse area be off-limits after several rows of seats at the stadium collapsed.
The preliminary report also said that a sinkhole appears to be forming at the Armory Drive entrance to a pedestrian tunnel that passes under Charlottetown Avenue, and recommends further study.
The report doesn't give a cost estimate for any repairs because its writers said more investigation is needed.
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department officials ordered the study after staffers discovered last week that six or eight rows of seats along the Independence Boulevard side of the stadium had collapsed, James Alsop, a division director in the parks department, told the Observer yesterday. Alsop will discuss the report at a press conference later today.
The report said portions of a stone tunnel underneath the stadium and in the general area of the collapsed seats has "severe distress," and that another section of the tunnel has failed and allowed soil to be carried away.
The 24,000-seat Memorial Stadium was built in the mid-1930s as part of President Roosevelt's New Deal program. The stadium hosts many community programs and athletic events. Alsop said yesterday that a volleyball event planned for this weekend and the Fourth of July fireworks celebration should go on as planned. -- April Bethea
- Read the report.
Posted by April Bethea at 11:31 AM