Down and dirty inside the Canal St. collapse

Down and dirty inside the Canal St collapse

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Friday afternoon, city workers gave a tour of work being conducted on the Canal St. collapse by way of the parking garage underneath Harrah's Casino.

The crew of about a half dozen can't fit in the close quarters at a time. Workers run steel reinforcement rods, and often are forced to climb several feet up those rods in order to drill through concrete barriers to fasten the walls to one another.

The contractor, Hard Rocks, is building three massive walls around the hole, which will connect with a concrete reinforced wall already in place.

In the end, the walls will make sort of a massive tub that the contractor will then fill up with concrete, fixing the problem.

"We built a concrete foundation. We're building a concrete wall up to seal the outside of the tunnel, and then we're going to build another one inside the tunnel to act as sort of a boulder for the actual reinforcement of the wall that's going to be used to seal the tunnel closed," New Orleans Dept. of Public Works Director Lt. Col. Mark Jernigan said.

While the work underneath bangs on, contractors above ground pour truckloads of concrete to secure things from above.

At 150 yards away from the collapse, inspectors continue to keep an eye on the opposite end of the tunnel. That side was also constructed 50 years ago, and contractors have installed steel braces to keep the section in place for now.

"We're looking at sort of doing the same option as for as what the plan is here on the Poydras St. side, so that once we are done, we will have a permanent closure on both ends of the tunnel," Jernigan said.

An official with the city says before the collapse on April 29, a Harrah's employee noticed cracks in the support beams below Canal St. City inspectors then discovered the void in the ground and barricaded the area to prevent injuries.

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