A public information session provided details about the demolition of 130 Liberty Street
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) hosted an information session on October 24 to present details about the planned demolition of the former Deutsche Bank building that was damaged on September 11, 2001, and to give community members an opportunity to ask questions of those involved in the project.
Officials at the meeting, including representatives from Bovis Lend Lease, the contractor for the project, discussed details of the three stages of deconstruction, the environmental precautions in place, and emergency action plans. Prior to the deconstruction of 130 Liberty Street, which the LMDC acquired in August 2004, a detailed deconstruction plan was approved by city, state, and federal agencies to ensure safe and effective abatement, removal, and disposal of contaminants.
The plan incorporates results and recommendations from the "Initial Building Characterization Study Report" that was released for public comment in September 2004. Based on feedback from regulators and the public, the plan was updated in June 2005 and approved on September 8, 2005.
Preparatory work on the project began this fall to put up scaffolding and three elevator hoists around the exterior, construct interior hoist vestibules, erect sidewalk sheds and perimeter fencing, and construct exterior negative-pressure tent enclosures. The existing netting around the building will be removed and new netting installed once the building is wiped down. This preparatory phase will last until the end of 2005.
In the meantime, Phase I of the project, which includes environmental cleaning and removal of all interior surfaces and non-structural elements in the building, will also get underway, beginning on the lower floors in mid-November. This phase is expected to continue through the end of 2006.
In March, Phase II, the actual floor-by-floor deconstruction, will commence. The anticipated completion date for this work is spring 2007. It will include removing the exterior curtain wall, roof, concrete deck, mechanical equipment components, and structural steel components. A buffer zone and an abatement zone will be established beneath each floor as it is deconstructed, and all materials removed from the building will be bagged, rinsed, and bagged a second time. The double-bagged materials will be stored in a sealed-off room until being sent off in sealed trucks using approved truck routes. Most of the hauling will take place on the west side of Ground Zero.
Responding to the public's concern about the release of contaminants as the building is broken down, officials at the meeting emphasized the importance of ensuring that the deconstruction is done in a safe manner to protect the health of the people who live and work in the community. One component of the safety measures being taken is daily air monitoring to check for such materials as asbestos, dioxins, and metals. Currently, the program includes hourly air sampling seven days a week at 12 locations -- four on the ground, four on the building, and four on surrounding buildings. Results from the monitoring can be found on the LMDC website. If there are any concerns with the recorded levels, the regulatory agencies and the LMDC will take the appropriate actions.
Safety drills for the workers will take place monthly, and updates on the progress of the deconstruction will be available on the LMDC website. In case of an emergency, the Contractor Emergency Coordinator will contact 911. Concerned community members can call a hotline at (212) 587-9337 during business hours or (347) 234-4418 after hours.
Once cleared, the site will allow for the creation of a fifth office tower as part of the master plan for the WTC site and the addition of approximately 30,000 square feet of open space. It will also provide room for ramps that will allow vehicle security and bus parking to be located below ground and away from the area dedicated to the memorial. Gov. George Pataki also has announced that St. Nicholas Hellenic Orthodox Church will be rebuilt on the site of 130 Liberty Street. The church, formerly located on Liberty Street between Washington and West Streets, was destroyed on September 11.
The meeting turned heated when some residents expressed frustration at its format, which called for questions to be answered at tables in the back of the room staffed by representatives from the different regulatory agencies. Responding to the community members' concerns, the LMDC concluded the meeting with an open-mike session that gave everyone the opportunity to ask their questions in front of the entire assembled audience.