Misplaced bolt blamed in collapse of Midtown parking deck

A bolt is being blamed for the collapse of a Midtown Atlanta parking deck last summer, according to a letter sent to the garage's customers.

David Tyndall, whose company leases spaces in the Centergy parking garage for workers in an adjacent office building, said Wednesday he wrote tenants of the Centergy One office building so they would know what several engineering firms found in their inspections and to reassure them it would be safe when it reopened.

“Nothing we have discovered has changed our early conclusion as to what happened,” Tyndall wrote in the  letter.

A bolt at a spandrel beam that connected the floor to a column on the fifth floor of  Centergy parking garage failed in June. The deck collapsed, damaging 35 cars but injuring no one. Tyndall said the bolt was not defective, but rather was being used in the wrong way.

The deck has been closed while repairs are made. Tyndall says he knows former customers are curious about the progress.

“We have tenants here in our building who park their cars, as we do, in that deck. That’s why we sent a letter to our tenants,” Tyndall told the AJC.

The deck is owned by a non-profit, The University Financial Foundation. Gateway Development Services leases the deck from the foundation and in turn leases spaces to Centergy One building tenants.

“While there has been some discussion between various designers and installers, it is clear that the connection at this location on the 5th floor did not result in adequate restraint at the spandrel,” Tyndall wrote.

“A determination regarding responsibility for the failure will take some time, longer than any of us want our deck out of service,” Tyndall wrote.

Tyndall said engineers were told to err on the side of excess in their repairs.

“When in doubt, overkill on the repair so there is a lot of redundancy,” is how Tyndall paraphrased the instructions to engineers.

Tyndall said Wednesday the deck should reopen in about a month. He told the tenants the repairs will be completed “before the end of the holiday season, but certainly before the end of January.”