Charles Plaza problems corrected - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Charles Plaza problems corrected

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March 14, 2008

Albany
--  A threat from the city finally forced contractors to fix ongoing and dangerous problems at downtown Albany's Ray Charles Plaza.

At 11:45 Friday morning, music was playing, but the fountain at the Plaza was off so the city could complete an inspection. City engineers told contractors if dangerous conditions weren't corrected by the afternoon, they would shut down the plaza.

There were several problems starting with the white paint used to create the piano keys.

"The material they used when it was wet was extremely slippery, we had to address that with them, there were some handrail and guard rail issues that had to be addressed and taken care of and there were some electrical issues with a 200 amp service that they had provided down closer to the river," said Tracy Hester, Albany Development Services Manager.

We're told children could have put their hands in electric panel boxes. The fountain was back on by 2:45. City officials say all of their concerns have been addressed, and the plaza will remain open.

With the necessary corrections made, the city is better prepared to take responsibility for the plaza.

It opened in December, but the city has not taken ownership from ATI who served as the general contractor because of unfinished work and ongoing problems.

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