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New city rules take place in wake of Hard Rock collapse

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 4:40 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans city council is taking steps to try and avoid future disasters like the Hard Rock collapse.

A council committee gave preliminary approval to a new process, after a number of delays.

The proposed new process would provide for peer review of architectural designs for any building over 75 feet.

The ordinance would also call for an independent structural engineer to inspect construction sites.

The ordinance won preliminary approval just two weeks shy of the Hard Rock collapse’s two-year anniversary. Three people were killed in that collapse. Fox 8′s Lee Zurik uncovered gaps in city inspections, prior to the disaster, and investigations continue as to what went wrong.

“What you’re doing today should’ve been done before the Hard Rock collapse. No one should have to suffer the pain I’m going through,” said Irene Wimberly, the mother of Quinyon Wimberly, who died in the collapse.

“These are reasonable steps and checks that can result in cost savings by catching issues in the future,” said city councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer.

The council is also looking at ways of revamping the Department of Safety and Permits, which has seen a big turnover in staff, since the disaster.

The ordinance also calls for peer review and inspections for any residential structure over three stories tall. The measure must still be approved by the full council, and reviewed by safety and permits, before it becomes law.

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