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TAMPA, Fla — Tampa police have reopened Ashley Drive on the west side of the Regions Bank building in downtown Tampa. Top Curtain Wall Glass
On Wednesday, workers scaled the building to fix a broken window on the 27th floor.
It took workers with Glass Pros of Tampa about a half an hour to scale the building, finally stopping on the 27th floor to repair a busted window that posed enough of a safety hazard that Tampa Police Department shut down Ashley Drive and rerouted cars and foot traffic.
“It is a delicate process,” Eric Johnson with Glass Pros of Tampa said. “The guys have to communicate really well with one another.”
The window, a renovation project manager says, was damaged by a work crew when a wooden beam struck the glass from the inside. That sent large shards of glass falling hundreds of feet to the street and sidewalk below.
Property managers had hoped to fix the window faster, but Tuesday’s bad weather delayed the repair.
Johnson says OSHA rules say no work at that height if wind gusts top 30 miles an hour.
When they did get to the repair spot, they pushed the damaged glass back into the building and pulled a new pane through the opening from the inside.
“We feel that is the safest way to do it because we keep as much as inside the building as possible,” Johnson said. “So, if we drop a piece of glass and we damage some carpet that’s a whole lot better than a falling out and landing out here on the street.”
When 100 North Tampa was built in 1990, its windows met code. Today, Johnson said, they wouldn’t. They’ve been grandfathered in, he said, but like most older downtown skyscrapers, they lack a layer of laminate to hold the glass together.
“So, the concern was that these really sharp pieces could fall out and hurt someone walking up and down the street,” Johnson said.
The window used for the repair was a left over from the time of construction.
It fits, but not perfectly, Johnson explained. So, workers will be back out in a few months to scale the building and replace the same window again.
In the meantime, this newest panel is safely secured, the window company says.
With no further safety threat, police reopened the road.
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