Another crane goes down at a Related Group condo project

Collapse at Auberge Beach development is the third caused by Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma toppled a third construction crane in South Florida, this one in Fort Lauderdale, as ferocious winds and rain lashed the state.

The storm took out a crane at Related Group’s condominium development at Auberge Beach Residence and Spa, at the former site of Ireland’s Inn. The crane appeared to collapse on itself. It did not cause injuries or any major damage to the building, Patrick Campbell, Related’s vice president, told the Sun-Sentinel. “It didn’t even touch the structure,” he said. Moss Construction will evaluate the situation today.

The Fort Lauderdale project, slated to be completed next year, features 171 condo units. Prices for the seven penthouses started at $6.85 million.

The collapse was the third to be reported as Irma plowed across the state.

At Property Markets Group’s 300 Biscayne Avenue in Miami, a boom separate from a crane tower. Another collapsed at Related’s GranParaiso condo tower at 480 Northeast 31st Street. The tower is part of a 10-acre megadevelopment in Edgewater.

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No injuries were reported in either crash.

PMG’s Ryan Shear said a crew will assess the situation when weather conditions improve.

Brad Meltzer, president of Plaza Construction, which is constructing the GranParaiso, told The Real Deal that crane engineers took precautions before the storm but the crane’s boom was damaged due to high winds. The firm is working with government agencies, the crane supplier and engineers to repair the crane.

There are around two dozen other cranes around the city, and officials said there wasn’t time to move them before Irma struck.

Some have counterbalances of 30,000 pounds, and would take two weeks to move. With that option off the table, some of the horizontal arms on cranes were left loose to spin in the wind. Officials said the cranes were designed to withstand wind up to 145 miles per hour.

A tornado would have been devastating.

“Hurricane winds are blowing in one direction but a tornado could twist things,” said Dan Whiteman, vice chairman of Coastal Construction, which has 12 cranes in Miami. “And nothing can be designed to withstand the tornado effect.” [Sun-Sentinel]E.B. Solomont