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Palace Casino Parking Structure
Biloxi, Mississippi

Location: N 30.39545° W -88.85901°

The Palace Casino parking structure in Biloxi, MS is just north of the west abutment of the US 90 bridge over Biloxi Bay. As in the very similar Grand Hotel parking structure, this five-level garage is constructed of precast concrete columns, spandrel beams, and pre-tensioned double-tee deck with cast-in-place reinforced concrete topping. The 2nd-level deck collapsed, apparently after being lifted by storm surge. It appears that the deck failed at midspan in negative-bending flexure when downward load due to self weight was negated or reduced by the upward pressure of the storm surge. When this happened, the reduction in positive moment allowed the negative bending from the prestress to put the top fiber at midspan into tension. Lacking significant top reinforcing steel, the double-tee failed in negative bending.

Figure 1 shows the parking structure from the south facade. Figure 2 shows the westernmost bay of the south facade. Note the three spots where the bottom cover spalled from the 3rd-floor spandrel beam, just below the shear keys on which three of the double-tee webs rest. From the appearance of the spall, it appears that the webs were lifted up and dropped down, impacting the bottom of the shear key. This suggests the storm surge reached at least the soffit of the third-floor deck, 18 to 20 ft (6 to 7m) above grade. The spandrel beams had been connected to the columns at each end by two 5/8-in threaded rods, as shown in Figure 3. Figure 4 shows the shear keys in the spandrel beam and the end of the double-tees that socketed into them.

The casino is located at 153 Howard Ave, Biloxi MS; 30.39545° north latitude x 88.85901° west longitude, perhaps 3 ft (1 m) above sea level. Its exposure category according to ASCE 7-02 is C.

grand casino parking structure

Figure 1: Palace Casino parking structure, Biloxi MS

Photo: G. Mosqueda (for MCEER)

collapsed second floor

Figure 2: Collapsed 2nd floor deck and evidence of uplifted third-floor deck of the Palace Casino parking structure.

Photo: G. Mosqueda (for MCEER)

failed connections

Figure 3: Failed spandrel-beam connections in Palace Casino parking structure. Photo credit: G. Mosqueda

Photo: G. Mosqueda (for MCEER)

deck support

Figure 4: Collapsed second-floor deck of Palace Casino parking structure.

Photo: G. Mosqueda (for MCEER)

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