New York City Parking Garage Collapse Creates Call for More Inspections

The age of the structure and the weight of too many cars appear to be the leading causes of the collapse.   May 2, 2023

By Greg Zimmerman, senior contributing editor

Several days after a five-story Manhattan parking garage collapsed, killing the 59-year-old manager of the garage and hospitalizing five others, investigators are still working to determine the cause. Age and weight appear to have contributed to the collapse, based on an initial investigation. 

The parking garage was first built in 1925 and obtained a certificate of occupancy in 1957. The number of cars – as many as 50 -- on the parking garage’s roof deck at the time of the collapse. Investigators estimate there were 80-90 cars total in the parking garage.  

The collapse is causing many to call for more frequent parking garage inspections in New York City, according to NBC4. New York City Mayor Eric Adams referenced a law passed in 2021 that requires parking garage inspections. The garage that collapsed was due for an inspection this year, but the paperwork hadn’t been filed, indicating the inspection hadn’t yet been completed at the time of the collapse. According to the New York Times, the building had a history of violations and reports of hazardous conditions, including cracked and spalling concrete, city records show. Spalling concrete was also a factor in the 2021 collapse of the Florida condominium building that killed 98 people. 

Greg Zimmerman is senior contributing editor for FacilitiesNet.com and Building Operating Management magazine. 


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