COLUMBIA, Mo. - Documents obtained by NewsChannel 5 show multiple walkways at the University Village Complex were in danger of collapsing.
The University of Missouri hired consulting engineers Traubue, Hansen & Hinshaw to inspect buildings at the complex after a walkway collapsed last month killing 23-year veteran Columbia firefighter Lt. Bruce Britt.
The report concluded: "…we are confident that the collapse was a result of a concrete shear failure along the outer edge. It is likely that water and chlorides, and expansion from freeze-thaw action, combined to deteriorate the concrete to the point where its shear strength could no longer support even only the self-weight of the walkway."
"What they said to us was, had we been out there one week before that happened, we could not have predicted this would have occurred," said University spokesperson Christian Basi.
Engineers found similar problems at other buildings. According to the report, the walkway framing at buildings 602, 604, and 709 were questionable. The engineers concluded unless remedial action was taken a catastrophic collapse could be imminent.
Buildings 605, 701, and 706 showed the load carrying capacity of at least portions of the walkway framing was also questionable. After making immediate repairs to the buildings sited in the engineering report, University officials asked engineers to inspect more than 1,200 structures throughout Missouri. The inspections will include every academic building, every dorm, every experimental farm and shed.
"We want to make sure every building a student, a faculty member, staff member or guest walks into, is perfectly sound," said Basi.
University officials stress they are making all necessary repairs but they also admit, no words can provide the right level of comfort to Lt. Britt's family and co-workers.
"We are eternally grateful for the work that firefighter has done not just at that incident but for every incident he was ever involved in. we will forever be in his debt," said Basi.