Is Barclays Center, which opened to much fanfare as the new home of the Brooklyn Nets in late September, already becoming as weathered as its swooping rustic steel exterior suggests?
The New York Times reports that ironworkers have replaced "hundreds of bolts" that anchor the facility's 12,000 steel panels to the building's structure after engineers discovered that incorrect bolts had been used. Turns out the fabricator of the bolts shipped 5/8-inch bolts that are half as strong as the ones specified by building designers.
It's worth noting that this is far from the first challenge that has faced the arena since its very early days.
According to Charles V. Bagli's story:
The incorrect bolts were discovered only a month before the Barclays Center was scheduled to open on Sept. 28. The arena ultimately opened on time and it survived Hurricane Sandy's winds a month later.
After examining every joint, engineers determined that only 8 percent [that's 1,768] of the 23,351 weaker bolts needed to be replaced.
But the issue has led to questions about communications between regulators and the arena's developer, Forest City Ratner. The New York City Buildings Department said its inspectors had not been told about the problem with the bolts.
"The department was not made aware of this issue," said Anthony Sclafani, a Buildings Department spokesman. "We would expect to be notified in a case like this."
"Our building is successful because it creates a proper front door for the project and a dramatic entrance that arenas generally don't have, sitting in the middle of a suburban parking lot," Robert Sana, executive vice president for construction at Forest City Ratner, told The Times, adding that such issues as the use of incorrect bolts are not unusual in a major construction project - especially one with highly customized architecture.