Residents of a Miami Beach condominium evacuated more than two weeks ago over concerns of the property’s structural integrity were allowed to return home on Monday.
A contractor deemed the 164-unit Port Royale at 6969 Collins Avenue safe for occupancy after the shoring, or reinforcement, of beams in the building was completed, the Miami Herald reported.
Brian Calderone, the condo board-hired contractor who is with Fort Lauderdale-based engineering firm WJE, said the next step will be to do “a more in-depth analysis” to find out the underlying cause of the issue and figure out a permanent fix.
But currently, “the structural condition of the subject beams are such that the building can be reoccupied,” Calderone said in a letter to the city sent on Friday.
The 14-story building was evacuated on Oct. 27 after another contractor, Inspection Engineers, which had been overseeing garage repairs at the 51-year-old building, told the board of “continuous deterioration” of a “main beam” in the garage, adding that one of the main beams had moved roughly half an inch from its original position.
At the time, Inspection Engineers, based in Hialeah, said the beam might support the entire structure, although it cautioned this was based on visual observations.
Calderone later determined the beam only supported the fourth floor.
Port Royale’s evacuation came more than a year after the Surfside condo collapse, which put owners of aging residential buildings near the coast on alert about the structural safety of their homes.
The Champlain Towers South collapse killed 98 people in June of last year.
Since then, counties and municipalities have tightened inspection requirements, and state lawmakers have required 30-year inspections of condo buildings three stories or taller, or 25-year inspections for buildings within three miles of the coast.
Port Royale was the most recent scare, following the evacuation of several condo and apartment buildings last year after the Champlain collapse.
In August of last year, a 138-unit condo building at 5050 Northwest Seventh Street near Miami International Airport was evacuated after an engineer found columns that were “structurally insufficient.”