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L.A. COLISEUM CONSTRUCTION MAY BE FLAWED
Published May 6, 1996
Welds in the construction of the L.A. Coliseums's new press box repeatedly fractured in a San Bernadino steel shop, raising concern over the safety of the stadium's renovation, according to a front-page piece in Sunday's L.A. TIMES. David Willman reports the phenomenon known as "delayed cracking" can occur weeks or months after the structure is in place and is a warning that even welds that show no outward flaws may be brittle, "undermining their ability to withstand seismic stress." The press box runs nearly half the length of the football field and hangs over more than 600 seats at midfield. Inspector Cecil Farrar: "I wouldn't sit anywhere near that Coliseum press box. I know what's in it." The cracks were observed and documented by inspectors at San Bernadino Steel, where officials maintain they were repaired and retested with ultrasound equipment. However, beyond the detected cracks, inspectors warned others could have escaped the ultrasound testing and that even cracks that were visible to the eye were not picked up by the ultrasound. San Bernadino swing- shift foreman Darrell Schuman: "I wouldn't give my worst enemy tickets under that press box." Meanwhile, seven USC football games and several soccer games have been played at the Coliseum since the reconstruction (L.A. TIMES, 5/6).