September 5, 2008 in Business

Delivery truck hits skywalk

Building manager says repair could take a month
By and The Spokesman-Review
 
Dan Pelle photo

A piece of the skywalk over Howard Street was damaged Thursday.
(Full-size photo)

A delivery truck snagged a downtown Spokane skywalk early Thursday, sending debris tumbling into the street.

No injuries were reported, and the skywalk between the Washington Mutual Building and the Parkade Plaza remained open after the 6:15 a.m. accident.

Dale Terry, owner of Terry’s Dairy, said driver Nathan Odor had finished a delivery to the Rite Aid store at 112 N. Howard St. and was pulling away from the curb when a lip that protrudes above the roof of the 30-foot trailer hooked a concrete panel on the skywalk’s north side. The glass above the panel also fell.

Terry said Odor is an experienced driver but was filling in on the route that took him to Rite Aid.

“He’s very careful,” Terry said. He said Odor returned to the store to report the damage.

Terry said his insurer will pay for repairs.

A second, smaller piece of the fascia fell from the skywalk about 9:40 a.m.

There was no structural damage, said Gordon Hester, who manages the Washington Mutual Building for Kiemle & Hagood. Joshua Green Corp., of Seattle, owns the building and is responsible for the skywalks at its east and west ends.

Hester said the panel that fell Thursday has been hit before. A sign indicating its height – 12 feet, 6 inches – and a warning light were added to avoid a repeat, he said.

“People just don’t pay attention,” he said.

Cpl. Dave Adams, of the Spokane Police Department, said Odor was cited for failing to obey the sign.

Although Odor reported the damage, Adams said, no one called 911 to alert the police or fire departments to the problem.

Adams said the debris did not obstruct traffic, but he closed the northbound lane of Howard from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., when Odor returned to the scene after proceeding with his morning deliveries.

Hester, who has managed the Washington Mutual Building for 18 years, said it could take a month to repair the damage.

After the last incident, he said, Central Pre-Mix Concrete Co. made a mold for casting a replacement panel, but the mold had not been located Thursday. The panel also has to be matched for color.

Hester said the city of Spokane has inspected the skywalks within the past year.

City spokeswoman Marlene Feist said all the skywalks are inspected annually by the Street Department.

But, she added, inspectors cannot see and do not inspect the structural components.

Feist said the skywalk over Howard was not examined Thursday because it was clear repairs were under way.

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