CITY OF NEW ORLEANS PROVIDES UPDATE ON DEMOLITION CONTRACT FOR THE COLLAPSED HARD ROCK HOTEL
On: November 13, 2019 | By:
The City of New Orleans today provided an update on plans to demolish the Hard Rock Hotel after it collapsed mid-construction on Oct. 12, 2019. The property owner, 1031 Canal Development LLC, has executed a contract with Kolb Grading LLC and its affiliate, Dem/Tech, for the implosion of the building — an approach that multiple engineers agree to be the safest demolition method in this situation.
After implosion, the Louisiana Task Force 1 Search and Rescue Team will lead efforts to recover the remains of the two victims who are still inside the structure. Debris removal will follow recovery efforts and the investigation will be ongoing.
The New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) and the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) will continue to maintain control of the site to ensure public safety throughout demolition operations. The City will also hire an independent engineer to review the project scope and ensure the demolition plan is safe and does not endanger neighboring buildings. Kolb will be required to secure the necessary permits from all applicable governing authorities. The demolition timeline will be more precisely communicated in the weeks to come, but will be no earlier than mid-January 2020.
In an effort to further shrink the evacuation zone in the meantime, the City has urged 1031 Canal Development LLC to prioritize further securing the crane leaning over Canal Street. Further securing the crane could allow for the re-entry of a number of businesses and the reopening of pedestrian traffic on Canal and Burgundy streets. The property owner is also erecting a temporary protected walkway that will allow the Saenger Theatre to reopen in early December. Rampart Street from Iberville to Canal streets and Iberville Street from Burgundy to North Rampart streets will remain closed through the implosion.
Heightened perimeter fencing has been installed on-site and will remain in place throughout demolition operations. Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office detailed officers and private security professionals will continue to secure the evacuation zone 24/7. The property owners have also contracted additional traffic signage to communicate street closures and detours in the footprint near the collapse zone. Residents and visitors are asked to obey signage and security instructions and to stay outside of the evacuated area.
The City is in close communication with the organizers of upcoming high-profile special events, including Bayou Classic, Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the College Football Playoff National Championship, to ensure there are contingency plans in place to address the closures related to the structural collapse.
Impacted Residents and Businesses
NOHSEP, NOFD and the City’s Office of Community Development continue to communicate regularly with residents and businesses in the evacuated area. Last week, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses economically impacted by the Hard Rock Hotel collapse and related evacuation and street closures. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
The request for SBA assistance was made by NOHSEP to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, which forwarded a formal request to the SBA. The City thanks the SBA for recognizing the impact this disaster has had on businesses in and around the evacuated area. SBA disaster loans are offered as an addition to traditional forms of financial assistance businesses may receive through private insurance or litigation.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Aug. 5, 2020.
Impacted residents and businesses who need information or assistance should call 3-1-1.
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