Shuckers Bar & Grill had filed plans to renovate the deck that collapsed Thursday night.
NBC 6 obtained the complete engineering package of the plans, which was going to cost about $30,000. The owner did a significant amount of work to replace the dock. He had hired an engineer, a construction firm, got the city's approval to do all of this, and paid the fees. But about six months ago, the permits all expired and as far as the city's records show, no work was done.
A letter from the city's building official in December 2012 showed the permit extension had expired with no evidence of a final inspection.
NBC 6 also found that there was a notice of violation issued in February. The notice stated that the 40-year recertification was not completed. But North Bay Village Police Chief Robert Daniels, who is heading the investigation into the collapse, has said that the 40-year inspection was conducted in 2011. Daniel didn't immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
A total of 33 people were injured in the collapse and 24 were transported to the hospital. On Friday, authorities were investigating how families and friends who were out to enjoy a night of Heat basketball ended up in the darkness and underwater.
Emergency teams who responded to the scene said the support structure under the deck did not appear to be in good condition.
The documents obtained by NBC 6 were presented to the City of North Bay Village to rebuild the deck back in 2010. They lay out in engineering terms the specifics and the amount of stress and weight the new deck could hold.
“It doesn't appear that any of the pilings failed, from my understanding,” said Daniels, the police chief. He added, “It came down in a V.”
Skip Reed, who has four decades of experience in building construction, and for a time was the building official for the city where Shuckers is located, said: "It has, by the fire department, an occupancy load that’s probably stated somewhere on the facility, and it's up to him not to exceed the number of people or equipment. "
Reed said that there are no routine inspections of an outdoor deck like the one that collapsed. He said that under state law, once a structure like the deck is built and passes inspections, no inspections are scheduled for 40 years.
"Something of that nature we do not have a format to do periodic inspections. Basically, in a case like that an owner should have known that the project needed some kind of maintenance," Reed said.
After that, Reed said the city would only go back and re-inspect if it got a complaint or could visually see damage.
NBC 6 went to the restaurant owner's home to see what he had to say about what happened and to talk to him about what happened to the plans to improve the deck. No one answered at his home and so far he hasn't returned a message seeking comment.
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