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Floor Buckles At Boston City Hall

BOSTON (CBS) - Just before 4:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, there were popping sounds on the second floor of Boston City Hall.

"It wasn't an explosion. It was just a pop and it very peacefully worked its say down to the end where it stopped," said Michael Galvin, Boston's Commissioner of Property & Construction Management.

City Hall
Floor buckles at Boston City Hall. (Photo from amurphbu/Twitter)

Galvin described how a 50 foot stretch of floor tile broke loose and buckled. "The good news here today it buckled in a straight line the floor is two, three feet deep thick of solid concrete. So it's fine," he explained. Galvin said the problem can be blamed on wear and tear, just like what happens when your floor tile cracks and breaks apart at home. "It's a timing and the weakness and the mortar breaking," he said.

This is actually the fourth time this has happened at City Hall, but the first in this location. There were no injuries and the Registry Division, closest to the broken tiles, happened to be closed on Wednesday. Galvin calls it a surface problem and not a sign of any greater weakness with the 45-year-old building. "If it was only six inches thick (the floor below the tile) then we'd have to look at it, but no it's happened before and we kind of expect it. This is a big traffic area with people coming and going."

Crews spent Wednesday afternoon trying to pull out and salvage the tile. Galvin expects it to be fixed this weekend. As for construction nearby at the Government Center T Stop, he said it's having no impact on the stability of City Hall. "Because of all the activity and the building around, we've had that checked and the building is not going to move. It's strong and structurally sound."


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