January 12th - January 16th, 2009
Database to assist FDNY
January 12 – The FDNY is creating a database to help firefighters inspect buildings and have more information when they go into burning buildings. According to Newsday, the $22.8 million project is a result of the fatal blaze at the Deutsche Bank building which killed two firefighters; they were unaware that a standpipe was broken and that stairwells were blocked. The database will be linked with information from the Buildings Department and other agencies which inspect buildings. Inspection crews, using handheld devices, will upload the information directly to the database; right now, the inspection system is paper-based and prone to delays. IBM is working with the department on the technology which is expected to be functional in October.
Sports Museum of America Attendance Down
January 12 – It looks like the Sports Museum of America is not a home run. Crain’s New York Business is reporting that eight months after it opened at 26 Broadway, attendance is disappointing and the economic downturn is taking its toll. The Museum has slashed staff and admission prices; admission will be cut to $10 for adults for the Martin Luther King weekend.
NYC may need Storm-surge Barriers
January 12 – Scientists and civil engineers say New York City may need storm-surge barriers to protect it from rising sea levels and violent storms. Engineering News Record says a conference will be held this spring at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn focusing on four surge barriers; one across the Verrazano Narrows, one at the entrance to the harbor between Brooklyn and Staten Island, one where the East River meets Long Island Sound and a fourth at the mouth of the Arthur Kill. The project is estimated to cost $5 billion.
Original WTC Model to be included in the September 11 Museum
January 14 – The 7 foot tall model of the Twin Towers, built by architect Minoru Yamasaki 40 years ago, will return to the WTC as part of the September 11 museum’s permanent collection. The model was one of three large scale presentations created for the Port Authority in the early 1970’s. It includes the two soaring skyscrapers surrounded by smaller buildings and hundreds of tiny cars, trees and people. The model was displayed in several museums across the country.
Ground Zero Ramp Cleared
January 15 – The Ground Zero ramp has been removed. The last piece of the 460 foot long ramp, going from street level down to the WTC site, was removed by crane this week. The Port Authority said removal of the ramp was necessary to allow steel erection to proceed in the southern portion of the site. The ramp was built shortly after the attacks on 9-11 so construction materials could be trucked in to the site.
Mayor Calls for Dismantling LMDC
January 16 – Mayor Bloomberg, in his State of the City speech, called again for the dismantling of the LMDC and he said the agency should be folded into the Command Center. The Mayor said we should remove another layer of bureaucracy and save taxpayers money.
PA Complies with NYC Building Codes
January 16 –The Port Authority announced it will release an annual report showing how it’s complying with various building codes on the WTC site. The Downtown Express reported the first report will be released in a few months and it will also be online. Community Board 1 and several elected officials have criticized the PA because it’s not required to follow the city’s building codes; the PA has said repeatedly its standards go above and beyond the city’s building code.