ORLANDO, Fla. – Several roads in downtown Orlando remain closed Friday as an “unstable” construction scaffolding threatens to collapse.
Orange Avenue has been closed from Church Street to Jackson Street since Wednesday afternoon and even parts of Pine Street and Church Street are closed for traffic from Garland Avenue to Court Avenue.
City officials said nearby buildings were evacuated Thursday as a precaution.
A list of businesses that are temporarily closed during this time was released by the city on Friday evening. That list includes:
- Solita Tacos and Margaritas
- Kres Chophouse
- 1-UP Orlando
- Kymberly Group Payroll Solution
- Jerzy Nieves Photography
Justin Rosenberg lives in Sanford but works in downtown Orlando. He said the road closures have added at least 20 extra minutes to his daily commute.
“I typically just kind of go out on to I-4 but not on the express lane,” Rosenberg said. “So I’m just sitting in traffic, bumper-to-bumper, pretty much all day. And I think everybody is kind of funneling that way as well since these roads are close.”
Charice Brooks said the closures ruined her morning of running errands.
“It took me out of my way — a good 45 minutes.” Brooks said. “I’m supposed to be at work at 9, so I have to walk down here and walk back down there. I might just call off. I might not even be able to make it because I can’t get through the scaffolding.”
Balfour Beatty, which is overseeing a construction project at the building where the scaffolding is located, released the following statement about a plan to take it down:
The Balfour Beatty team along with engineering experts are continuing to make progress in developing a deconstruction plan and timeline of the scaffolding located at 222 South Orange Avenue. Additional measures have been taken to stabilize the structure and we are beginning preparations to mobilize equipment to deconstruct the scaffolding. We are continuing to work very closely with local authorities including the Fire Department and City of Orlando’s Building department to maintain the safety and security of the project site and surrounding area. While these activities are ongoing, the area will remain secured until operations are complete. Our top priority continues to be the safety of the public and neighborhood, and all people working onsite. We will continue to work diligently to ensure impacted areas and nearby businesses can resume normal operation as soon as possible.
Police said Friday the closures would remain at least through the weekend and possibly into early next week.
City officials released a map of the closures, including pedestrian areas that have been barred while the city addresses the scaffolding issue.
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