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No history of violations at collapsed parking garage

Posted at 6:49 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 18:49:20-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Thursday, a parking garage in Lexington collapsed. The parking garage is owned by the Webb Companies. Businessman Dudley Webb said Webb Companies bought the property after the previous owner filed for bankruptcy.

Webb told LEX 18 by phone Thursday that the previous owner renovated the parking garage two and a half years ago, but he did not have specific information.

As for what happened during today's partial structure collapse, Webb said "a beam broke causing the collapse."

Lexington Director of Code Enforcement Alex Olszowy said the outcome could have been much worse, speaking about a contractor who was clearing snow off the parking garage.

"The plow had been on it pushing the snow and ice just minutes before it happened," said Olszowy.

He estimates 300,000 pounds of concrete and steel collapsed. Structural engineers are assessing the damage.

The 51-year-old structure has been in good standing with code enforcement officials.

"The only notice I have on record is the sidewalk," said Olszowy.

In 2018, he said someone did report another safety concern after seeing holes in the concrete on the top deck and rust around poles.

"There were cones covering holes on the upper deck of the parking structure and I guess people were concerned," said Olszowy, referring to code enforcement data. "They were concerned with the holes you could see through the lower deck."

He says code enforcement didn't act at the time because the previous owner was already repairing the problem.

We asked him if there was any indication the prior repair had something to do with Thursday's partial collapse.

"No, without the engineer's report we couldn't make any conclusion that the two are related."