April 6th - April 10th, 2009
Construction Worker Safety Campaign Announced
April 6 – The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) announced a construction worker safety campaign, urging workers to use their safety harnesses and lifelines at all times. The message of the campaign is “If you fall, they fall too.” The DOB says the campaign will be in several languages including Spanish, Russian, Hindi, and Urdu and will be disseminated at construction sites, union halls and community centers. DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri said, “With a growing number of immigrant workers who are unable to speak and read English, this information can mean the difference between life and death.” The campaign follows the deaths of 8 people at construction sites in the last year.
Battery Park City Park Design Approved
April 6- Battery Park City and the State Department of Transportation (DOT) have reached agreement on a design for the park and dog run along West Street between Albany Street and Third Place, according to The Tribeca Trib. The state will begin renovating 43,000 square feet of park space in October with a completion date of May 2010. The plan includes a 7,800 square foot dog run, an 11,500 square foot lawn and 3,800 square feet of new community gardens.
Rector Street Bridge to Temporarily Reopen
April 6 – The Rector Street Bridge may reopen temporarily within the next two weeks, according to The Battery Park Broadsheet Daily. In a meeting at the office of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the DOB and the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) said they would inspect the façade of 40 Rector soon and determine if the bridge can reopen, possibly within a week. Officials said the bridge needs a new staircase and new decking and that work will require that the bridge be closed for approximately 6 weeks starting in the late spring or early summer.
Water Pipe Construction Nearly Complete
April 7 – The construction of four water pipes, which will take water from the Hudson River to cool the WTC, is almost complete. The New York Times reports the pipes will deliver water to the site’s chiller plant to cool and humidify the September 11 Memorial and Museum and the transportation hub.
Goldman Sachs Tightens Safety
April 7 – Goldman Sachs is tightening up safety measures at its construction site after last week’s incident in which a hammer fell 18 stories and shattered the rear window of a taxicab on Murray Street. A Goldman spokesman said there will be brightly painted ‘no standing’ zones near each exterior elevator along with heavy fines if anyone other than the elevator operator opens and closes the doors. The new rules also required construction workers to attach their tools to their workbelts and that the workbelts be removed before getting into an exterior elevator.
Antenna Deal Falls Apart
April 8 – A deal between the Port Authority and 11 television stations to broadcast from an antenna atop 1 World Trade Center has fallen apart, according to several published reports. The news puts further strain on the Port Authority’s finances; the TV stations were going to pay $10 million a year in rent and $20 million to have the antenna built. Now, the PA is looking into building a less costly antenna in the hope of striking a new deal with the TV stations. Right now, television signals are being beamed from the Empire State Building.
Investment Needed for Downtown Future
April 8 – A new report, entitled “Downtown 2020”, says Lower Manhattan needs public and private investment now in order to position the area to be ‘one of the nation’s great urban jewels.” The report, issued by Baruch College’s Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute, calls for six million square feet of new office space above and beyond what the WTC site will produce. The report focused on six principles essential to Lower Manhattan’s future- new housing, reinforcing the area’s historic urban structure, creating new class A office and retail space, transportation improvements, access to the water’s edge and creating a 24/7 environment that emphasizes education, culture and entertainment.
Lichtenstein Sculpture goes to Smithsonian
April 8- The giant blue “Modern Head” sculpture, which had been in Battery Park until 9/11, will become part of the permanent collection at the Smithsonian American Art museum. The New York Post reports the 31 foot sculpture by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein had been on view in Nassau County and Coral Gables, Florida since 9/11.
130 Liberty Deconstruction Delayed
April 8 – Last week’s electrical malfunction in the power system at 130 Liberty Street could sidetrack the decontamination work for about three weeks, according to The Battery Park Broadsheet Daily. All work in the building has been suspended; Bovis must repair and certify the electrical system before work can resume.
Board of Directors Blasts Costs
April 8 – A member of the Port Authority Board of Directors blasted the board about costs associated with the WTC Transit Hub. Real Estate Weekly is reporting David Steiner told the Board, the $50 million appropriated for management and architectural services to Phoenix Construction are ‘a bone in my throat.” Steiner feels the Port Authority should have the leverage to reduce the costs, especially because of the economic downturn.
9-11 Memorial Pledges Reduced
April 10 – Despite the economic downturn, several major financial organizations told The New York Times, they still plan to honor the contributions they pledged to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Bear Sterns, Barclays and AIG will contribute millions to the fundraising effort; however some now say the amounts they pledged will be reduced.
New Bike Path Planned for Battery Park
April 10 – A new bike path is planned for Battery Park. The Downtown Express reports the final piece of funding for the bike path was announced last week – a $2.5 million federal transportation grant for the $16 million project. The bike path will connect to the one that runs along the Hudson River through Battery Park City. It will run through the northern edge of Battery Park, near Peter Minuit Plaza and go into the bike path which runs along the East River. Construction will start at the beginning of 2010 with a completion date of about a year.