NEW ORLEANS - During Thursday's Governmental Affairs Committee meeting, District "C" Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer will present an ordinance that requires independent inspections during the construction of buildings taller than 75 feet (measured from grade level to the average height of the highest).
This third-party review will provide independent verification of the structural integrity of all large New Orleans construction sites and add a layer of accountability to prevent future site collapses similar to the 2018 Hard Rock Hotel site in downtown New Orleans.
“The Hard Rock Hotel workplace safety measures were so grossly inadequate that they caused the deaths of Jose Ponce Arreola, Quinnyon Wimberly and Anthony Magrette and hurt dozens of others," Councilmember Palmer said. "These developers have shown that they are willing to put New Orleans workers at risk for the sake of profit, and I can’t in good conscience allow this to happen again. While we will never know if an independent inspection of the Hard Rock structure would have prevented the collapse, we do know this ordinance can prevent negligence of future projects.”
The ordinance states that the third-party structural review must be performed by a structural engineer who is selected by the City's Department of Safety and Permits. The selected engineer cannot have a financial interest in the construction project. In addition, the reviewer must provide a report to the Department of Safety and Permits, ensuring that the structural and foundational design complies with Louisiana and City of New Orleans building codes and all related structural codes and standards.
The Governmental Affairs Committee meeting will take place Thursday, September 30 at 1 PM. To watch the live stream, visit council.nola.gov.