Nearly a month since the partial building collapse that killed 97 in Surfside, the site of the collapse looks unrecognizable to those who witnessed rescuers work for weeks on the rubble — and traffic patterns around the site may see a return to normal “in the very near future.”
Sen. Jason Pizzo tweeted images of the site Tuesday night that showed the recovery mission may be almost complete. A Miami-Dade County spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that the site of the collapse had been “mostly cleared.”
Surrounded by orange traffic cones and police barricades, the property where the 12-story Champlain Towers South once stood appeared in the photos posted by Pizzo to have been nearly cleared, with almost all debris and building parts moved to off-site locations for forensic analysis. Several pieces of rubble and wires were still visible on the site in the photos, as several recovery workers used a crawler loader to pick up a remaining piece.
But despite the original collapse site being cleared, the recovery effort and search continues, the county spokesperson said.
“What’s happening now is that the first responders are conducting additional searches of the debris at the collection site,” the spokesperson said. “They’re continuing to do everything that they can to be as thorough as possible in the search for any additional remains to bring closure to families.”
As of July 15, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said that 26 million pounds of concrete and debris had been removed from the site. Officials have recovered 97 victims.
The relocation of debris, and with it the recovery effort, may soon allow Surfside residents to see the blocked off section of Collins Avenue open to traffic.
“I think that in the very near future, we will be able to get Collins Avenue partially open for traffic,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett told the Miami Herald. “We’re trying to semi-normalize life in Surfside, however, we’re not doing anything that would jeopardize the investigation into the site. We’re trying to balance those two requirements.”