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Streets reopen around damaged Indianapolis skyscraper
20 April 2006

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - City officials have reopened all the streets around a 36-story office tower, more than two weeks after a storm blew out windows on about a dozen floors and scattered debris around the downtown area.

Repair work on the Regions Bank building also has advanced far enough since the April 2 storm that offices on the lower 14 floors could reopen next week.

"At this point we have met all of the requirements that the fire marshal has put forth in terms of creating an absolutely safe environment and so we just need to get that final signoff and then we will work with the tenants to get them back in the building," Myra Borshoff Cook, a spokeswoman for the building's owners, said Wednesday.

Much of the area surrounding the building, where about 1,000 people work, had been cordoned off since the storm until the city reopened the nearby streets on Wednesday.

The street lanes closest to two sides of the tower and some sidewalks will remain closed because of the potential of falling glass and other debris, city officials said.

Rail barriers have been put in place as repairs continue where corner offices on the northwest and southwest parts of the building were shattered. Many other windows on the tower's south side have been covered with plywood.

Officials are confident in the engineers' assessment of the tower's safety, but it will continue to be monitored, especially if the city is hit by more thunderstorms with high winds in the coming week, said Justin Ohlemiller, a spokesman for Mayor Bart Peterson.
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