No doubt you’ve heard by now of the terrible tragedy at Milwaukee’s O’Donnell Park near Milwaukee’s lakefront, where one person was killed and two others were injured when a decorative concrete panel fell from O’Donnell Park’s parking garage on Thursday afternoon.
As reported by WTMJ’s I-Team, last December Milwaukee County Department of Public Works inspectors conducted an audit of County facilities and found that the O’Donnell Park parking structure needed nearly $600,000 in maintenance and repairs – maintenance and repairs which were deferred due to cost. Among the issues cited as needing attention were problems with the systems that prevent stress cracks and keep pipes from freezing, as well as cracked concrete walls, cracks to the garage super-structure, rusting metalwork, water damage, and missing tiles. While WTMJ’s I-Team notes repairs to the O’Donnell Park parking structure were deferred due to their cost, Milwaukee County Executive (and Republican gubernatorial hopeful) Scott Walker said yesterday nearly all flaws identified by inspectors in the O’Donnell Park parking ramp had been corrected.
No matter whether the maintenance at the O’Donnell Park parking structure had been deferred or completed, it will be interesting to see if and how Walker’s opponents in the gubernatorial race – Mark Neumann and Tom Barrett – approach this, not to mention how Walker’s campaign will address the issue, which could linger for the duration of the gubernatorial election.