OKLAHOMA CITY – Devon Energy officials have released a new update on the tower clean-up project following last Wednesday’s dramatic rescue of two window washers while their basket swung freely high above the Oklahoma City skyline.
On May 15, around 7:45 a.m., two window-washers were stuck in their cradle at the top of the tower while the wind repeatedly smashed them into the Devon Tower.
As the Oklahoma City Fire Department and Devon Energy employees worked their way to the roof, Oklahoma City Police blocked off roads as glass from the broken windows fell about 900 feet to the ground.
Today, officials say they are reducing the areas closed off for safety and clean up:
“Remediation of the largest and most hazardous glass and metal pieces dislodged in the May 15 building maintenance incident at Devon Tower is complete. Robinson Avenue was reopened to all traffic May 21 at 9 p.m.
Cleanup of glass and metal debris continues at the street level on Sheridan Avenue and around the Devon Energy Center grounds. Crews also are cleaning up glass at the Colcord Hotel and The Oklahoman properties. The Colcord north and east entrances have reopened; the patio area remains closed.
More of the Myriad Gardens park area is expected to reopen today – the east side of the park along Robinson, including the Park House and Ice Rink areas.
Sheridan Avenue remains closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic but will be reopened for the Oklahoma City Streetcar.
While 16 large windows have been removed from the tower, there are smaller panes – known as spandrels – that are not accessible from inside the building. Plans call for the damaged spandrels to be laminated, using the re-certified Building Maintenance Unit, while they await replacement.
With the grounds now clean and storms expected, determining whether more glass falls will be helpful as officials decide when it is safe to consider shrinking the safety perimeter further.”
Devon Energy CEO Dave Hager said in a press conference Wednesday that Sheridan will remain closed until further notice.
“We’re optimistic that if we get through these storms that are pending today it’s possible we can shrink the perimeter back very soon,'” he said.