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Water Main Break Prompts High St. Evacuations

 
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WBNS-10TV wrote Water Main Break Prompts Evacuations

Jan 09 2008 7:50AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A water main break beneath the Greater Columbus Convention Center prompted evacuations and the closure of a downtown road Wednesday morning.

A 12-inch water main located under the building broke, according to Rick Tilton of Columbus Public Utilities. Power to the building was turned off as crews worked to stop the flow of water.

High Street was closed in both directions between Nationwide and Goodale boulevards, police said.

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46 Responses to Water Main Break Prompts High St. Evacuations

  1. chaptal
    chaptal January 9, 2008 7:46 am at 7:46 am

    What a traffic nightmare. Are businesses on the west side of High closed?

    Well if the building falls down that would be a great streetcar and rail hub.

  2. Brewmaster
    Brewmaster January 9, 2008 7:58 am at 7:58 am

    chaptal wrote Well if the building falls down that would be a great streetcar and rail hub.

    lemons into lemonade!

  3. Coremodels January 9, 2008 8:04 am at 8:04 am

    chaptal wrote What a traffic nightmare. Are businesses on the west side of High closed?

    Well if the building falls down that would be a great streetcar and rail hub.

    yep, West Side of High evacuated as well.

    double :shock:

    Bowersock said that a security guard who didn’t wish to go on camera said that the water is causing the floor to buckle in some areas.

    A battalion chief said earlier that the building could collapse, Bowersock reported.

    Bowersock said right now the worst-case scenario is the building collapses and the best-case scenario is that the center’s flooring is ruined.

  4. Manatee
    Manatee January 9, 2008 8:13 am at 8:13 am

    I blame Peter Eisenman! :)

    Get my man Christopher Alexander in here to build that thing 8)

  5. shroud
    shroud January 9, 2008 8:17 am at 8:17 am

    Sounds like seriously bad news for the structure of the convention center itself. I hope it just sounds worse than it is, but a prolonged closure/repair could mean a lot of lost revenue for the city… :(

  6. honavery January 9, 2008 8:21 am at 8:21 am

    Yeah, I heard on NPR this morning that they are worried the center might collapse! That would be f’d up.

  7. columbus native January 9, 2008 8:28 am at 8:28 am

    Wow! thats just odd! I can remember heavy rains causing water to stand in the intersection before, but a water main and steady flow would cause some real issues. As funky as that building looks I truly hope that this is a simple clean up.

  8. Ndcent
    Ndcent January 9, 2008 8:39 am at 8:39 am

    Wait…so…there are people that think the convention center is an eye sore!? I thought pastels and stupid geometry were in this year?

  9. Manatee
    Manatee January 9, 2008 8:45 am at 8:45 am

    Ndcent wrote Wait…so…there are people that think the convention center is an eye sore!? I thought pastels and stupid geometry were in this year?

    Not for buildings, IMO. That is 90′s-tastic.

    Don’t want it to collapse, though, for Columbus’ sake.

  10. Walker Evans
    Walker January 9, 2008 8:45 am at 8:45 am

    I don’t mind the design of the Convention Center too much, but when it’s closed it’s a long stretch of dead space along High Street. It could use some outward facing retail/hotel space or something.

  11. dru
    dru January 9, 2008 8:48 am at 8:48 am

    Ndcent wrote Wait…so…there are people that think the convention center is an eye sore!? I thought pastels and stupid geometry were in this year?

    it is all the rage, all the convention centers in paris and milan are wearing it. have you been in urban outfitters lately, pastel geometrics are back, and they’re not a fad this time i swear.

    the upshot, we can now host the following conventions:

    1. national scuba convention

    2. international falling building enthusiasts

    3. global concrete repair people

    4. pan-federation of moldy carpet lovers

    on the downside, this could mean millions lost for the local economy if they lose convention business – harming hotels, restaurants, airlines and all the associated taxes.

  12. joev
    joev January 9, 2008 9:32 am at 9:32 am

    And for anyone of thinking about moving a conference to Columbus, I think this will put a damper on that. Sorry for the pun.

  13. columbus native January 9, 2008 9:35 am at 9:35 am

    dru wrote
    Ndcent wrote Wait…so…there are people that think the convention center is an eye sore!? I thought pastels and stupid geometry were in this year?

    it is all the rage, all the convention centers in paris and milan are wearing it. have you been in urban outfitters lately, pastel geometrics are back, and they’re not a fad this time i swear.

    the upshot, we can now host the following conventions:

    1. national scuba convention

    2. international falling building enthusiasts

    3. global concrete repair people

    4. pan-federation of moldy carpet lovers

    on the downside, this could mean millions lost for the local economy if they lose convention business – harming hotels, restaurants, airlines and all the associated taxes. Classic! on the upshot, but the downside is Tragic. It’s amazing how much we put into lights and plumbing for this kind of shit to happen. I wonder of it will have any effect on the cap having that much water that close to it?

  14. Andrew Hall
    Andrew Hall January 9, 2008 9:45 am at 9:45 am

    Walker wrote I don’t mind the design of the Convention Center too much, but when it’s closed it’s a long stretch of dead space along High Street. It could use some outward facing retail/hotel space or something.

    It is a nice design when considered in isolation, but unfortunately it is also the product of the architect-with-raging-ego school which is fine for isolated art museums and lousy for urban usage. It also looks particularly anachronistic now as that style very quickly peaked and plummeted for the reasons of the previous sentence.

    A building shaped like a basket would be much better. And hold water.

    A.

  15. cab124
    cab124 January 9, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am

    I wonder how this will affect the Arnold Sports Festival which is only about 7 weeks away and uses every square inch of the convention center.

  16. heresthecasey January 9, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am

    well if the convention center collapses at least we finally got rid of the convention center. That building has to be perhaps one of the ugliest things we have in columbus. and i wouldn’t really mind the design so much if i didnt know what they tore down for it (union station arcade, anyone?). not to mention as walker did that when theres nothing going on it creates a huge dead space covering the east side of high street from nationwide to goodale. I would like to see the building rennovated at least to include shops and restaurants like are on the east side of high in this area.

    and if the convention center is going to be closed for a while for repair, how about using nationwide arena or actually get some kind of use from vets memorial for the time being. the only big problem i could think of is if this closes that part of the center to the arnold classic, which uses all of it and all the other downtown venues. maybe weather-permitting they could set it up in one of our giant parking-lot seas, or oceans :wink:

  17. rave_til_dawn January 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am

    Convention center deemed structurally sound despite flooding

    Structural engineers who inspected the Greater Columbus Convention Center after a broken 16-inch water main flooded the building early this morning determined that the building is structurally sound, said Tatyana Arsh, the Columbus utilities director.

  18. laChewla
    laChewla January 9, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am

    Andrew Hall wrote

    A building shaped like a basket would be much better. And hold water.

    Newark, Ohio already has one of those. Behold the corporate offices of Longaberger:

    http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c82/mamamia357/basket.gif

    I think water would leak out those holes (windows)…

    So I guess this water main break is what kept me awake to sirens for a few hours in the wee AM today…

    As much as I don’t like the look of the convention center, it would be nice if there was minimal damage – there must be better places for that kind of $$$ to go.

  19. dru
    dru January 9, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am

    as much as people can dream, unless the whole thing falls down, there’s about a 0.0% chance that Columbus would scrap the Convention Center and replace the design of a preeminent (i didn’t say universally beloved) architect who counts our one mega-millionaire as an enthusiast. it would:

    a.) cost too much to rebuild

    b.) cost too much to the city as we lose convention business for years

    c.) anger Wex

  20. Rocknrolloutlaws January 9, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am

    Well, assuming we can’t scrap the entire thing and start over, perhaps with the ensuing renovations there will be an opportunity to address some of the legitimate complaints about the space.

    Afterall, if the estimates are that repairs will be in the millions, I think it would be worth considering if there might not be a way to use the required construction to improve the faciilities to better meet the needs of the city.

  21. joev
    joev January 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am

    Do you think they have insurance to cover the damage?

  22. greenhouse1014 January 9, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am

    It seems to me like a lot of the responsibility for any damage would fall to the general contractor to cover. I understand that STRUCTURALLY the thing is ok, but should there be this much damage? Does this refelct on materials used and quality of teh construction? I mean, I don’t know, I’m asking…

  23. dru
    dru January 9, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am

    Rocknrolloutlaws wrote Well, assuming we can’t scrap the entire thing and start over, perhaps with the ensuing renovations there will be an opportunity to address some of the legitimate complaints about the space.

    Afterall, if the estimates are that repairs will be in the millions, I think it would be worth considering if there might not be a way to use the required construction to improve the faciilities to better meet the needs of the city.

    it would be interesting to know if they have to get the Eisenman firm’s approval to tinker with the design in the first place. there could be stipulations on alterations to the design.

    as for the complaints about lack of streetfront retail, etc… I do wonder if anyone knows of examples where this has been incorporated. my job takes me to a lot of conventions, and looking at the past number I’ve visited (Minneapolis, Montreal, Indianapolis, Seattle, Baltimore, Austin, Denver, Cincinnati, Salt Lake) this seems to be an issue at all of them. They are monolithic structures that are designed for the interior space with little consideration to streetfront considerations.

  24. rave_til_dawn January 9, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am

    What materials do you think would sustain hundreds of gallons of water flowing over it for hours? Seems to be resonable damage to me considering what happened.

  25. greenhouse1014 January 9, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am

    well, yeah, that’s why I said I was just asking and not looking for some sarcastic, smartass comment. The building was suppossed to be built to last a long time and it seems as if there’s a lot of damage for what appears to be 1 1/2 feet of water. I just figured it would hold up a little better.

  26. rave_til_dawn January 9, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am

    greenhouse1014 wrote well, yeah, that’s why I said I was just asking and not looking for some sarcastic, smartass comment. The building was suppossed to be built to last a long time and it seems as if there’s a lot of damage for what appears to be 1 1/2 feet of water. I just figured it would hold up a little better.

    Sorry man, wasn’t try to start a fight, just didn’t think it would be the responsibility of a builder to plan for internal flooding, that’s what insurance is for. I too was just asking…

    I also agree, it should be built to last a long time, but under normal circumstances right?

  27. Drew January 9, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm

    dru wrote as for the complaints about lack of streetfront retail, etc… I do wonder if anyone knows of examples where this has been incorporated. my job takes me to a lot of conventions, and looking at the past number I’ve visited (Minneapolis, Montreal, Indianapolis, Seattle, Baltimore, Austin, Denver, Cincinnati, Salt Lake) this seems to be an issue at all of them. They are monolithic structures that are designed for the interior space with little consideration to streetfront considerations.

    While the ‘monolithic structure’ configuration is pretty standard, I think most people’s frustration with the convention center is that it breaks the continuation of retail from downtown to the Short North. For a city our size, it’s a pretty important stretch to leave barren and (while I probably haven’t been to as many conventions as you) I haven’t seen any convention centers that impose themselves on such a critical area in this manner.

  28. Walker Evans
    Walker January 9, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm

    The Dispatch wrote Convention center deemed structurally sound despite flooding

    Wednesday, January 9, 2008 10:10 AM

    BY ROBERT VITALE

    Structural engineers who inspected the Greater Columbus Convention Center after a broken 16-inch water main flooded the building early this morning determined that the building is structurally sound, said Tatyana Arsh, the Columbus utilities director.

    Fire officials reported earlier that they feared a collapse, because it appeared that support beams and floors had been compromised, but Arsh said that city officials no longer believe that to be the case.

    When Battalion Chief Doug Smith arrived, he said water was running out the doors, and it appeared that the concrete slab floors were buckling and drywall was coming off the walls.

    READ MORE

  29. greenhouse1014 January 9, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm

    rave_til_dawn wrote

    Sorry man, wasn’t try to start a fight, just didn’t think it would be the responsibility of a builder to plan for internal flooding, that’s what insurance is for. I too was just asking…

    Yeah, I’m sorry too. I just got finished with idiot design clients so I was a little testy. What kind of statement is “I don’t like something about it, I just don’t know what. Can you change it so I like it?” but I digress

    It seems to me that planning for the future would be up to both the contractor and the designer. Isn’t that why we put in safety windows, etc. I worked for the downtown Y when it was remodeled and I know future use, future safety, etc. were things that came up in construction meetings.

    But I’m an artist, not a construction guy, so what do I know…

  30. rave_til_dawn January 9, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm

    greenhouse1014 wrote It seems to me that planning for the future would be up to both the contractor and the designer. Isn’t that why we put in safety windows, etc. I worked for the downtown Y when it was remodeled and I know future use, future safety, etc. were things that came up in construction meetings.

    But I’m an artist, not a construction guy, so what do I know…

    I’m not a construction guy either, and I agree with you on future safety needs, however I would think a pipe main break underneath the sidewalk adjacent to the building would not fall into that category. Sort of like I doubt they they plan for damage due to train derailment. :wink:

  31. dru
    dru January 9, 2008 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm

    Drew wrote (while I probably haven’t been to as many conventions as you)

    consider yourself extremely lucky on that point – i have one every year on Memorial Day weekend, there’s no better place to spend a summer holiday than inside an over-air-conditioned, windowless room. The centers themselves are largely soul-less voids.

    A number of these I mentioned do take up prime downtown acreage in a similar way that Columbus’ does. I’m not using them as examples to say that Columbus’ is a perfectly okay example, I am actually trying to see if anyone has good examples that are not the status-quo.

    Having said that, the fact that Columbus’ does dump its conference goers out on the steps of the Short North, Arena District and North Market is a huge + in my book (maybe not judging by the earlier comments in another thread that convention goers ignore the cap because it doesn’t have recognizable chains). Most I’ve been to are not as nearly connected to their cities entertainment and cultural districts as Columbus’s is. Phili has a similar set-up, with the Penn Center being connected to Terminal Market and adjacent to China Town. Now all we need is a streetcar stop in front – preferibly one that isn’t pastel.

  32. greenhouse1014 January 9, 2008 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm

    How about Madison Square Garden, which is almost completely ground level and below.

  33. dru
    dru January 9, 2008 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm

    greenhouse1014 wrote How about Madison Square Garden, which is almost completely ground level and below.

    i’ve only been there once, and that was a long time ago (I do believe they’ve remodeled it since). Does it have ground level retail/dining at the street level?

  34. CDS sherman
    CDS sherman January 9, 2008 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm

    greenhouse1014 wrote well, yeah, that’s why I said I was just asking and not looking for some sarcastic, smartass comment. The building was suppossed to be built to last a long time and it seems as if there’s a lot of damage for what appears to be 1 1/2 feet of water. I just figured it would hold up a little better.

    the water tends to undercut the substraight that is underneath the side walk and the building. im not sure what exactly happened but it sounds like the water erroded the soil in its escape and then created a void that shot the water up and into the building. then the floor starts to sink along with columns and pillars. im sure the building was mechanically engineered well, so drainage isnt that big of a problem. its amazing what water damage can do in a short amount of time.

  35. bremkat January 9, 2008 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm

    heresthecasey wrote well if the convention center collapses at least we finally got rid of the convention center. That building has to be perhaps one of the ugliest things we have in columbus. and i wouldn’t really mind the design so much if i didnt know what they tore down for it (union station arcade, anyone?).

    This looks like t job for the Committee to Save Big Ugly Things!

    I tried to find this on YouTube, but I could only find this link:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/widgets/biguglythings.asp

    It speaks about the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle, but we should all remember:

    “Unobstructed views decrease worker productivity by 9%”

  36. Daz January 9, 2008 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm

    ^^^ Gigantic ugh for that one.

  37. Walker Evans
    Walker January 9, 2008 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm

    Press Release wrote Convention Center Found to be Structurally Sound Following Water Main Break

    Boil Advisory in effect for area as City Crews repair lines

    (Columbus) Mayor Michael B. Coleman and Public Utilities Director Tanya Arsh toured the Greater Columbus Convention Center this morning to view damages after the break of a 16-inch water main overnight flooded the facility. Engineers determined the Greater Columbus Convention Center to be structurally sound and City water line repair crews continue to work at the site. Repairs to the line are expected to be completed Wednesday afternoon and water service restored as clean up efforts continue inside the Convention Center.

    Mayor Coleman also talked with Experience Columbus and the Conventions Facilities Authority to ensure that no conventions or meetings are disrupted as a result of the damage. The Longaberger Basket Company’s Annual Conference slated to start today has been moved to other area hotels and should not be impacted by the flooding.

    HIGH STREET TRAFFIC FLOW CHANGES:

    Northbound High Street between Nationwide Blvd and Goodale Ave will be closed to traffic and Southbound High Street will be down to one lane while crews continue their work.

    BOIL WATER ADVISORY:

    The Division of Power and Water within the Department of Public Utilities has issued a Boil Advisory for businesses located on West Swan Street between North High Street and Park Street, and on Park Street between West Swan Street and Goodale. Businesses in the Boil Advisory area should boil their water for 60 seconds prior to use for drinking or cooking until further notice.

    The Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel are not included in the Boil Advisory.

  38. rave_til_dawn January 9, 2008 6:53 pm at 6:53 pm

    Columbus Business First wrote Crews fix convention center water main break

    Business First of Columbus – by Matt Burns Business First

    City crews have completed repairs to a 16-inch water main at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, which broke early Wednesday, flooding the first floor of the complex and causing at least $200,000 in damage.

    The water line broke below the newer northern portion of the convention center, but the cause of the break remains unknown. The Columbus Public Utilities Department learned of the overnight break at about 4:30 a.m., spokesman Rick Tilton said.

    City officials said engineers have determined the flooding didn’t do structural damage to the building.

    READ MORE

  39. laChewla
    laChewla January 9, 2008 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm

    bremkat wrote
    heresthecasey wrote well if the convention center collapses at least we finally got rid of the convention center. That building has to be perhaps one of the ugliest things we have in columbus. and i wouldn’t really mind the design so much if i didnt know what they tore down for it (union station arcade, anyone?).

    This looks like t job for the Committee to Save Big Ugly Things!

    I tried to find this on YouTube, but I could only find this link:

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/widgets/biguglythings.asp

    It speaks about the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle, but we should all remember:

    “Unobstructed views decrease worker productivity by 9%”

    That was awesome. Thank you.

  40. greenhouse1014 January 9, 2008 8:57 pm at 8:57 pm

    About an hour ago, I was in a meeting witrh someone who works for the convention center and they said that they’ve been pushing water out all day, still trying to get something ready for the Longaberger thing tomorrow. This person said there’s really no damage other than to drywall and carpet. Said it’s already starting to stink.

  41. gramarye
    gramarye March 7, 2008 6:04 am at 6:04 am

    Wonderful. Our own local-scale versions of the Minnesota bridge collapse.

    Infrastructure in this country needs some serious TLC.

  42. roy
    roy March 7, 2008 6:13 am at 6:13 am

    Many years ago I volunteered for the Literacy Council and my student was an old timer from the city division of sewers and drains, he started there in 1958.

    I met with this guy 3x per week, the city let him off work for 1.5 hours each session. He specialized in the antique downtown brick sewers and told me all sorts of things. I haven’t talked to him in years but I bet he knows the backstory of the convention center debacle!

  43. Andrew Hall
    Andrew Hall March 7, 2008 7:47 am at 7:47 am

    Walker wrote What are the odds…

    http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/03/06/cleveland_water.html?type=rss&cat=&sid=101

    The odd are 1.0.

    It happened back in the late 80s. One of the main streets downtown. My wife says Broad, but I think it was a N/S street. There was a pic of a Mercedes in it.

    I will see if I can find a link.

    edit: 1986. And she was right.

    A.

  44. roy
    roy March 7, 2008 7:50 am at 7:50 am

    That was a sinkhole on w/b Broad b/t Front and High.

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