More than two years after a construction crane collapsed into a residential complex in Old East Dallas, the building’s owners say they have started rebuilding.
One resident, 29-year-old Kiersten Smith, died in a collapse on June 9, 2019, and five other people were injured.
Hundreds of residents of Elan City Lights Apartments were evicted, causing confusion and frustration in the months that followed as they tried to reclaim their property and find new accommodation.
Work to rebuild the complex stalled while the owners decided how to proceed, but this week the crews were working on clearing the property to restore the crane-damaged side of the structure.
“We have spent the past two years carefully evaluating the best future use of this property,” Elan City Lights said in a written statement. “The apartment buildings and common rooms that were most severely damaged by the crane collapse are being completely reconstructed. All units will be completely renovated with new appliances, floors, decorative surfaces and lighting fixtures. “
The company responsible for operating the crane, Bigge Crane and Rigging, is facing a lawsuit seeking reimbursement of more than $ 59 million in insurance claims related to the damage.
Bigge, who was granted an extension until August 16 to respond to the lawsuit, blamed high winds for the collapse.
The crane could have withstood winds of up to 95 miles per hour, according to the manufacturer on the Bigge website. The National Weather Service recorded gusts of up to 71 miles per hour on the day of the collapse.
Injured and displaced residents filed additional lawsuits in the months following the collapse.
The Labor Protection Agency fined Bigge $ 26,520 for violations, including rusted bolts, but experts said those violations did not explain the collapse. The crane company denied the fine, and OSHA records show the case is still open.
Staff writer Tom Steele contributed to this report.