Spinnaker in Sea Isle Reopens Tower After Fatal Balcony Collapse

The south tower of the Spinnaker condominium complex is now open after an engineer’s report concluded the building is safe.

Written by MADDY VITALE and DON

Engineers have determined that it is safe to return to the Spinnaker Tower South condominium complex, where a construction worker was killed and a balcony collapsed three weeks ago. Both business owners and residents can now go back to their respective establishments.

The commercial area beneath the apartments of the South Tower has also resumed operations. A spokesperson from the Spinnaker office in Sea Isle verified on Thursday afternoon that the South Tower is accessible to its occupants.

Following the incident, the organization has refrained from providing any comments. Jose Pereira, a 43-year-old employee who lost his life on February 25th, resided in Philadelphia and worked for Ferguson Contracting Inc. Located in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

Two other workers on the eighth floor balcony also suffered minor injuries when the South Tower balcony on the north side collapsed, resulting in the death of Pereira, who fell onto the balcony below on the seventh floor.

Engineering carried out an examination of the balconies, Kustera Bernard & Fox (KB&F). According to a report to the city dated March 13, KB&F “was asked to offer our expert judgment on whether it is secure for individuals to go back to the South Tower and whether entry can be permitted back on the ground level directly beneath the supported balconies.”

Based on our visual assessment, the existing building has not been compromised and remains structurally intact, as it was before the collapse of the balcony. The report confirms that the collapse of the balcony has not affected the structural integrity of the building.

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This photo shows how a balcony on the eighth floor collapsed onto the balcony directly below at the south tower of the Spinnaker condominiums.

According to the report, the balconies on the south side were in a condition ranging from good to fair, with exposed corroded rebars and rust stains. There will be needed repairs in the future, and there is work that needs to be done.

Engineers concluded that the balconies on the southern facade are suitable for “their designated function.”

However, the balconies on the north side will remain closed until their safety is further investigated.

The report states that the current shoring will stay in position and no entry will be allowed presently. The load carrying capacity of these balconies may have been negatively affected by the previous repair work. To ensure the structural integrity of these balconies is restored, a thorough survey will be necessary to determine the specific repair work needed. As per the report, the existing shoring will remain in place and no access will be granted at this time.

The Spinnaker condominiums, a complex with 192 units, were constructed in the early 1970s. The complex consists of twin towers, one facing north and the other facing south, both standing nine stories high and providing a picturesque view of the ocean. Situated at 3500-3700 Boardwalk, the Spinnaker condominiums offer a breathtaking location.

One of the side balconies on the eighth floor of the south tower gave way. As per the timeline of the Spinnaker’s building process documented on spinnakersic.Com, the majority of the three-bedroom apartments also feature a more spacious balcony on the building’s side, with each condominium boasting an ocean-facing balcony as well.

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An aerial view shows the north and south towers of the Spinnaker Condominiums.

Certain concerns may still persist among certain proprietors or individuals from the community, who observed that KB&F, subsequent to the failure, while the balconies were reinforced.

KB&F has no structural concerns regarding the use of balconies at ground level in the area directly below. However, we do understand that there may be a preference for others to limit access or have ownership for various reasons.

The federal agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), is carrying out an investigation.

The accident happened in February when the balconies being worked on were made of concrete, as stated in an email by Leni Fortson, a spokeswoman for OSHA. The cause of the collapse has not yet been determined, although investigations are ongoing.

OSHA has a maximum of six months to conduct the investigation into the collapse and disclose the results.

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