SBD/6/Facilities Venues


     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).
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