Division 4 in Knoxville to close by end of October
October 10, 2017
The Division 4 Public Works facility on Bausman Street in Knoxville will be closed at the end of the month and then demolished in mid-November as a result of structural engineering report finding that it is unsafe for both workers and machinery.
According to a news release from the city, snowplowing, salting, street cleaning, pothole patching and other services to city residents within the division will not be impacted. All employees are being retained and will deliver services from the bordering 3rd and 5th divisions instead.
Previous condition assessments by the Massaro Corp. of the storage shed and salt dome at the site at 414 Bausman Street had called the facilities an "eyesore" and rated the buildings to be in critical to fair condition.
A more recent report filed in August by structural engineers Walter P. Moore Associates found "potential life safety hazards" at the facilities, causing the Department of Public Works in conjunction with the Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections to call for the closure of the buildings.
In advance of the winter season all employees will be moved to the 3rd and 5th Divisions by the end of October. Demolition is expected in mid-November.
The Walter P. Moore report found:
"The overhead roof structure presents a structural concern that it may not be able to support the code-required snow loads in its present condition, WPM has concerns for an occupant safety beneath the roof structural systems at the building. Pedestrian safety is also a concern due to the deteriorated state of the face component and potential for overhead hazards. Overall, the building is in poor condition and in need of extensive repairs to correct potential life safety hazards that currently exist.
"The second level garage framing and load bearing walls are showing signs of distress; the corrosion is a sign that there may be more underlying conditions. The steel beams are currently supporting the street cleaners and small pickup trucks, deflection was not observed, only corrosion and deterioration.
"This means that the floors can support the current equipment; however, larger equipment may cause deflection. That said, we don't advise applying any additional loading which could be in the form of but not limited to: more vehicles, larger vehicles, or using the garage for additional storage."
The report estimates repairs would cost $1.27 million.
Eleven workers will be transferred to the 3rd Division and ten to the 5th Division. Two foremen, a clerk and a supervisor will also be transferred.
PLI is contracting for an asbestos study of the facilities, after which it will seek bids for demolition, which will likely occur in mid-November.