Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
Legal News Financial News Casino Opening and Remodeling News Gaming Industry Executives Author Home Author Archives Search Articles Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Related Links
Related News
Recent Articles
Arnold M. Knightly

Strip development: CityCenter construction hits snag

17 September 2008

and Joan Whitely

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Construction has slowed on The Harmon Hotel, Spa & Residences at CityCenter after some structural work was found not to match building plans submitted to Clark County.

However, the county has agreed the building is structurally safe for workers to correct the nonconforming work, which is believed to exist on 15 of the 22 existing floors. Ultimately, The Harmon will have 47 stories.

"We have workers in there currently," said Craig Shaw, chief executive officer of Perini Building Co., the general contractor on CityCenter. "They're working on the corrections in concert with instructions we have from the structural engineer of record."

"Perini is as proactive as can be, and taking care of it," said Steve Ross, who is secretary-treasurer of the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council. The organization has been vocal in expressing concerns about safety at the mammoth CityCenter construction site.

The Harmon is part of the "gateway" to City Center. The nongaming hotel and condo residence stands at the southwest corner of the Strip at Harmon Avenue. Conspicuous for its rounded edges, The Harmon will eventually have a glass exterior that simulates the color of ocean waves.

The Harmon's remediation work involves proper placement of reinforcing bar, commonly known as rebar, in some of the tower's walls. Some of the rebar was spaced differently -- sometimes only a distance of inches -- than originally designed, in order to avoid hitting vertical steel. The affected rebar was placed within horizontal beams that reinforce the structural concrete above doors or other wall openings.

However, the shift was not cleared with building inspectors. Problems were first identified in early July, and Clark County officials ordered the rebar work to stop on July 18.

Getting county approval in advance is "something that should have been done, but wasn't," Shaw said. "But the reality is, this is sometimes the way the process works" with corrective work taking place after inspectors find errors.

On Aug. 1, the county approved the revision devised by the structural engineer of record, Halcrow Yolles. It analyzed the problematic work and then submitted new plans, which entail doing minimal demolition into targeted wall areas, correcting the rebar and repacking concrete.

Workers are fixing the 15th floor. Shaw, who expects having to rework floors six through 20, said the problem has put the tower's construction two weeks behind schedule. Vertical construction is stalled on the 22nd floor, as subcontractors await clearance to pour concrete on the 23rd floor.

Shaw said responsibility for the nonconforming work lies with Perini, structural engineer firm Halcrow Yolles and Pacific Coast Steel, the reinforcing steel subcontractor. He declined to estimate the cost of repairs.

"That's when it's going to get juicy," as the parties decide who will cover the additional cost, said Donny Grayman, business agent for Local 416 of the Reinforcing Ironworkers Union. Members of the local are doing the rebar work at CityCenter, with some workers idled until upward construction at The Harmon resumes.

Shaw said he is confident that the lost time will be recovered and the condominium-hotel will be completed on schedule.