PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The collapse of an outdoor deck at Shuckers Bar & Grill into the waters of North Bay Village has renewed questions over the safety of similar decks in South Florida.
WPTV NewsChannel 5 has learned that once the plans for the construction of a deck is approved by a municipal planning department, mandatory follow-up inspections are not required.
"You worry about it when something breaks," Rick Schirm, an owner of Marine Construction said. "It's a secondary structure."
Schrim, who lives in North Palm Beach and has built decks for homes and businesses for 26 years, said decks aren't routinely inspected after they are built.
"It's an engineered structure. It has to be designed by a certified structural engineer. And, once that goes through the building department, the building department says, "The structure is okay, it's up to code," Schrim said. "Once it's in the water, nobody comes back to check on it."
Schrim said the collapse in North Bay Village may have been the result of too much weight on the deck -- not its design.
"There's only so much load a structure can take, especially a wood structure," Schrim said.