• Gas line, dozens of windows damaged during Old City Hall Annex Implosion in Downtown Jacksonville

    By: Courtney Cole , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Even on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, local glass company Lee & Cates was hard at work in Downtown Jacksonville.

    A crew was repairing some of the nearly 50 pieces of glass that shattered during yesterday's implosion of the old City Hall Annex building.

    One of the crew members told Action News Jax reporter Courtney Cole that most of the repairs need to be done on the Blackstone building.

    Charlie Milford says has been working for Lee & Cates Glass for more than a decade.

    But this is his first time dealing with repairs for an explosion like this one.

    The old City Hall Annex came down for good on Sunday, January 20 at 8:00 a.m.

    That's when the work began for Milford and his team.

    "Yesterday, we showed up around 9:45 a.m. on-site. We were there until 7:00 o'clock last night,” said Milford.

    They came back Monday after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade.

    They focused on repairing the windows on the J.H. Churchwell Company building.

    “We're just trying to fix the last couple of broke ones we can easily get to today,” Milford said.

    So far, Milford says there are less than a handful of buildings that need repair.

    "Blackstone building, I believe there was about 25 pieces. The building next door has about 17 pieces that we've found...and the Hyatt Regency, I think it's four in there,” Milford told Action News Jax.

    Glass windows weren't the only thing left needing repair.

    On Sunday, the City of Jacksonville told Action News Jax via e-mail, "a gas line was impacted during the implosion and is undergoing repair. There are no notices of evacuation."

    Cole reached out to the city to find out how the gas line got damaged, who’s at fault and how long repairs would take to complete.

    This evening, the Mayor’s spokesperson told me Action News Jax that doesn’t have an answer at this time.

    According to the first page of the contract, between the City of Jacksonville and Environmental Holdings Group, LLC., (the group hired to bring the building down)—EHG is responsible for  everything encompassing the implosion, including demolition, debris removal, site restoration, remediation of hazardous materials, and site restoration for future development.

    Cole reached out to EHG to ask if it was surprised by the scope of the damage and how much it will cost them, but she’s still waiting to hear back.

    Next Up: