Fort Wayne building inspectors discover unsafe steel and faulty plumbing in hotel under construction

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The hotel under construction in Ft. Wayne has faulty steel and may need to be torn down (Image from WANE-TV)

Construction on a new hotel on Fort Wayne’s north side has been halted after county building inspectors discovered a number of violations, WANE-TV reports.

Building inspectors issued a stop-work order for the project 5950 Cross Creek Blvd. in mid-January. The planned Sleep Inn/Mainstay Suites hotel would be owned by Raj Patel Inc. of Fort Wayne.

Allen County Building Commissioner John Caywood told the broadcaster on Feb. 28 that the violations started after an inspector discovered two employees working without licenses.

The inspectors then discovered serious structural problems with improperly and possibly unsafe steel work. Caywood described it as some of the worst work he has seen in three decades.

“None of the welds had passed the first visual inspections, so the welds had failed,” Caywood was quoted as saying. “And some of the steel that is being used was scrap steel or had been burned through which decreases the structural stability, so we were just very uncomfortable with what we saw out there.”

Inspectors levied $128,000 in fines, but these have been suspended. The building department is now in negotiations with the site’s owner and the general contractor, who Caywood says are cooperating.

The options are to fix the steel violations or the building will need to be demolished, he says.

“It’s going to be like a big Jenga game to take all that steel out of there, there’s going to be extra costs and extra work that needs to be done. But yeah. If not, it’s definitely going to have to come down because this department is not going to let the community be in unsafe buildings.”

Caywood said inspectors also found violations with the plumbing contractor, John Chorpenning. He has filed a motion with the Indiana attorney general’s office for an investigation on his license.

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