Falling ice damages City Hall

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Inspectors are taking a close look today at Richmond City Hall, after heavy ice and snow fell from the building's roof, damaging some aluminum flashing, and a glass canopy.

According to city officials, the damage was first discovered on Monday. Pieces of flashing on the Broad Street side of the building were bent downward. In addition, the impact of the falling ice shattered the glass canopy that covers the public entrance on Broad Street.

The damage was still clearly visible as of Wednesday morning. Perhaps it was a Christmas miracle that nobody was injured. So today, crews shifted their focus to the dangling pieces of aluminum.

"Our concern is that a wind storm, or just the weight of the flashing would have it fall, and again we don't want the public to be damaged or hurt," said Chris Beschler, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer.

Work crews used a crane to inspect the building, and decided to pull one of the aluminum pieces off the building. The other two are believed to be secure.

Though - the incident wasn't exactly a confidence-builder for passers-by.

"This building was a disaster when they built it. First built it. So there's no telling what might happen to that building," said passer-by Theodore Jones.

Richmond City Hall was opened in 1972 - with marble slabs on the outside of the building. But problems forced architects to replace them with aluminum in 2005...which, it turns out, resulted in a whole new set of problems this week.

City officials, though, remained confident that there is no more snow or ice left to fall, and that there is no further danger to the public.

"We have confidence that no more glass will be shattered," said Beschler.

Traffic on Broad Street was being re-routed during the lunch hour, but as of 1:30 p.m. both lanes of travel were open.

City Hall remains fully open for business, however the entrances on Broad Street and 10th Street are closed. Entrance to the building is available on 9th Street and Marshall Street.

No injuries were reported.

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