Damage remains 5 months after City Hall implosion

Old City Hall site now covered with grass, surrounded by fence

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Nearly five months since Jacksonville's 1950s-era, 15-story City Hall was imploded, the riverfront lot has been cleared of debris and grass is growing. But in the office building across Bay Street, about a dozen windows broken by the shock waves have yet to be replaced.

A recent report to the mayor's office shows work continues to try and replace the glass on the Blackstone broken during the Jan. 20 implosion. The report said that while contractors are trying to address the situation, the glass vendor can’t match the existing color of the building's exterior glass.

The report said the building's owner has not approved any of the replacement samples and it could take a very long time to finally replace them. News4Jax has asked the building owner for comment but has not received a response. 

Demolition on the neighboring courthouse building is nearing the final stages as crews are cleaning up the rubble of that building.

The grassed-over City Hall property is fenced off and it's not clear if or when it will be open to the public

The city report also said that Newnan Street, next to the site, should be complexly open by the end of the month. One lane has been closed since the implosion.

Work continues on Liberty Street and Coastline Drive -- two sides of the old courthouse property. Those roads are being rebuilt after sections of them collapsed into the river four years ago. Most of the rised highway has been removed. The waterfront property which could become a marina or other public use.  Superior Construction, the company doing the work, was able to move its deadline for completion.

Work now is moving closer to the Berkman Plaza condominium site. Pilings for the bulkhead will be put in place soon. The report said that will require them to move a bit slower and carefully so as not to damage the building or its garage.

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