NYC's Crane Ban Called “Crippling”

During the onset of a winter storm Feb. 5, a crane stretching nearly 600 feet into the air collapsed along Worth Street in lower Manhattan.

📅   Wed February 24, 2016 - Northeast Edition


During the onset of a winter storm Feb. 5, a crane stretching nearly 600 feet into the air collapsed along Worth Street in lower Manhattan.
During the onset of a winter storm Feb. 5, a crane stretching nearly 600 feet into the air collapsed along Worth Street in lower Manhattan.

Crain's New York Business is reporting that construction sites across the city are being frequently paralyzed by stricter rules on crawler cranes enacted after a deadly accident earlier this month, prompting construction industry leaders to appeal to City Hall.

The Allied Building Metal Industries and other trade organizations are pushing the de Blasio administration to re-examine the temporary regulations.

During the onset of a winter storm Feb. 5, a crane stretching nearly 600 feet into the air collapsed along Worth Street in lower Manhattan, killing 38-year-old Upper West Side resident David Wichs.

The Department of Buildings responded by shutting down all of the nearly 380 operating crawler cranes—which are equipped with tank-like treads for mobility—and inspected them, along with every tower crane, over the ensuing weekend.

Officials also decreed that these machines be safely stored whenever sustained winds of 20 miles per hour are reached. The temporary policy is intended to give the city time to review current rules and make changes.

The problem, says an organization representing construction subcontractors, is that winds hit 20 miles per hour all the time.

“This threshold has had a disastrous impact on the industry,” said William Shuzman, executive director of the Allied Building Metal Industries. Stopping a crane from operating can bring significant components of a project to a halt and delay others, he said, causing a cascade of logistical and financial problems.

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