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City of New Orleans issues permit to Hard Rock owners to begin demolition

Updated: Apr. 30, 2020 at 3:28 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The City of New Orleans today issued a conditional permit to the owners of the collapsed hard rock hotel so that they can finally begin demolition work. The permit comes more than six months after the building collapsed killing three workers.

After a brief court hearing today, the City of New Orleans announced it was ready to issue a conditional permit to 1031 Canal the owners of the collapsed hard rock to begin demolition. The agreement came after months of wrangling over whether the building should be demolished or imploded.

The permit now allows for demolition.

Kerry Miller, the attorney for 1031 Canal, said they could begin moving in demolition equipment as early as Monday. The priority will be to bring in large cranes to secure and remove the construction crane still looming over the site.

The attorney for 1031 Canal says the next goal will be to start dissembling upper floors of the building so that workers can retrieve the bodies of construction workers Jose Areola and Quinyon Wimberley, which remain in the wreckage. Contractors for 1031 Canal would then begin removing the top 9 floors of the building using the lower concrete eight floors as a support structure.

“Think it’s past time to get this moving forward and I hope all the parties can work in a cooperative way to get this accomplished,” civil engineer Nick Cammarata said.

If all goes well contractors hope to have the upper floors removed and Canal Street reopened sometime in July, in advance of the heart of hurricane season.

Hard Rock owners must still land approval to remove three adjoining structures from the Historic District Landmarks Commission.

They are expected to vote on the issue next week. There is another court hearing on evidence preservation issues on Monday

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