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    Tuesday, March 05, 2024

    New London church collapse

    There have been many articles in The Day about the tragic collapse of the former First Congregational Church of New London Jan. 25, 2024. Why did it collapse on a mild weather day? Could months of vibration from all the pile driving at State Pier and the train station have been transmitted through soil, ledge or bedrock? It is well-known that vibrations travel through the ground and are transmitted through the foundation through walls, floor and roof. Such damage occurs on vertical load-bearing walls and is more likely in masonry and concrete buildings rather than wooden buildings. It can be like a series of continuous mild earthquakes. Some states (e.g. Florida) require vibration monitors in buildings near heavy construction. Are there any such vibration monitors in any of New London’s buildings as this heavy construction takes place? If vibration was the cause of the church collapse, then other New London buildings may already be at risk.

    Tom Althius


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