NEW ORLEANS – The following is a statement that may be attributed to 1031 Canal Development LLC:
“Since Saturday, Oct. 12, 1031 Canal Development LLC, the owner of the Hard Rock Hotel project, has worked around the clock with federal, state and local authorities, and first responders from the public and private sectors. We continue to mourn the loss of three workmen on the site and pray for the comfort of their families during these days and weeks of uncertainty and grief.
We want the public to understand that we have been actively engaged with city, state and federal agencies since the moment this incident occurred to respond to the many issues caused by the incident.
1031 Canal Development LLC is committed to working with all interested parties to restore normal activities around the property, including the safe reopening of Canal St. and surrounding areas. At the same time these efforts are occurring, 1031 Canal Development LLC is finalizing a comprehensive and safe plan, in conjunction with the City of New Orleans and other agencies, for the implosion of the building. Multiple engineers have advised that the safest method of demolition is implosion.
Our plans for the safe implosion of the building are highly specialized and technical. Accomplishing this important effort safely and without any further disruption to the residents and businesses in the area and across the CBD and French Quarter will require the proper planning and implementation with experts in this field. We have retained the services of the highly recognized firm, Kolb Grading LLC and its affiliate Dem/Tech, for the demolition of the building. We will share more information once the timetable for this project is reviewed and approved by the proper authorities.
To date, 1031 Canal Development’s activities have included the following recovery and safety efforts:
- Providing on-site assistance as part of the first response effort to secure the site and immediate impact zone;
- Engaging in continuous communication with Mayor Cantrell, NOFD Superintendent Tim McConnell, NOHSEP Director Collin Arnold as well as other federal, state and city agencies;
- Cooperating with OSHA and other regulatory agencies during the various phases of the response and now during the investigation of the cause of this incident;
- Working with OSHA, the City, NOFD and interested plaintiff parties to determine the cause of the incident, including hiring an internationally recognized engineering firm who specializes in OSHA matters to present a plan for preserving evidence related to the incident’s cause, which will be submitted to the court for approval;
- Facilitating the removal of the two on-site cranes, including funding the controlled demolition of those cranes Oct. 20;
- Funding the construction of the barrier surrounding the site, including the fencing and “jersey barriers” currently utilized;
- Funding and supporting ongoing, around the clock site security to protect public safety in and around the work area.
We share the public’s interest in providing a speedy but comprehensive, safe, final solution to remediating the site so that the people and businesses near Canal and Rampart streets can move forward in resuming their normal lives. In addition to the planned implosion discussed above, following are the latest steps underway in this detailed process:
- Executed a contract to provide 24-hour security around the site.
- Hiring a nationally recognized geotech engineer for implosion consultations including setting up seismic monitoring for surrounding businesses and neighborhoods.
- Creating and implementing a temporary access plan to reopen the Saenger Theatre in consultation with the City of New Orleans and NOFD which includes erecting a protected walkway, which will allow the theatre to reopen in early December.
- Retaining structural engineers to design the further securing of the crane closest to Canal Street. This will allow for the river-bound lanes of Canal Street and parts of Burgundy to reopen as well as for partial business reopenings.
- Developing and implementing a communications plan with the City for local businesses and residents near the evacuation zone. We expect to continue to work with the City to keep residents and businesses in the area of 1031 Canal St. informed through NOLA Ready and similar methods used during the recent crane demolition.
This event has impacted our city greatly.
1031 Canal Development LLC is committed more than ever to identifying the causes of this tragic event.”