Demolition of defective Strip tower underway

LAS VEGAS -- MGM Resorts International has started work to bring down the faulty Harmon Tower on the Las Vegas Strip.

According to the company, they are in the beginning weeks of a project that will take about a year to complete. The towers were found to have several construction flaws that could cause the building to collapse in a strong earthquake.

The Harmon was designed as a 48-story tower amid the $8.5 billion CityCenter complex that opened in 2009. But construction halted in 2008 after inspectors found flaws in the steel reinforcements of the concrete structure. The building has stood empty at 26 stories ever since.

MGM blames the builders, Tutor Perini Building Company for the construction problems; however, Tutor Perini blames MGM for the defects. The sides will hash out the dispute in a trial set to start in September.


The construction company had tried to stop the building from being destroyed, because it is still the center of litigation. In May, a judge granted MGM's request to bring the building down.

Crews will install pedestrian protection systems above walkways and sidewalks on the property. Pedestrian bridges will remain open, but the street-level sidewalk in front of the tower will be closed.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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