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CBS4 Exclusive: Support Beams At Dadeland Mall Parking Garage Alarms Shoppers

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Some shoppers at Dadeland Mall say they are alarmed by a striking site inside a parking garage by the JC Penny store.

The cause of concern is support beams located on multiple levels.

The Miami-Dade Building Department told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that the garage is safe while work is being done, but says there are separate investigations by the Building Department and Code Enforcement, which looks into whether buildings are unsafe structures.

An exclusive video obtained by CBS4, shows dozens of support beams on multiple levels as we drove through the building and saw some work being done.

The county has stepped up its inspections and re-certifications of buildings in the past 5 1/2 months since the tragic collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside that claimed 98 lives.

Watch: Jessica Vallejo's 11 p.m. report

One shopper has a particular connection to Surfside.

Andrea Loeb of Pinecrest, who was shopping at the mall, said, "I was here last week. My mom is in Champlain Towers North, the building right next door, and my family and I were here last week and we said we wonder if that is safe. It does not look safe. I wonder if there is a problem? And the first thing I thought is they the building, the structure because of what happened and the question comes up, is there. Something wrong with this? I think I have a mixture of concern and maybe they are trying to shore things up that they didn't do before."

Shopper Amanda Perez said, "I feel like these support beams have been here as long as I can remember. I would hope it's safe. I am here all the time. I park on the bottom level so I hope it is safe. If they are fixing something I would hope they would block off certain areas and do it in pieces so nobody would park in the middle of it."

The Building Department says they started an investigation after a complaint was filed in the summer.

According to records, a man wrote, "There is a major concrete beam holding up the 2nd level parking garage deck that is deteriorated with exposed reinforcing steel that us substantially corroded. That is repeated at the second level. I am a structural engineer and wanted to bring this to someone's attention."

Dadeland Mall opened on October 1st of 1962.

The Building Department said it is due for a 60-year re-certification this year.

A spokeswoman said the older garages are due for their 40-year re-certifications in 2023 and 2024.

On Thursday afternoon, the mall released a statement saying that the shopping center is doing standard restoration work inside that parking garage.

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