January 26th - January 30th, 2009
South Street Ferry Station Delayed
January 28 – The MTA announced the South Street Ferry subway station won’t open for several more weeks because the gap between the platform and Number 1 trains is an inch wider than allowed under federal rules. Several published reports say it will cost the MTA approximately $200,000 to fix the gap by installing wider rubbing boards. An MTA spokesman said the agency is trying to determine if one of its contractors are at fault and if so, it will have the contractor pay for the mistake.
Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order
January 28 – Testwell Laboratories, the company accused of falsifying tests on concrete and steel used in several NYC construction projects including the Freedom Tower, sued the City to have its license reinstated. Over the City’s objections, the judge in the case issued a temporary restraining order overturning the license suspension, according to The New York Times. Testwell argued that the law does not say an indictment is a basis for suspension.
One of Two Reflecting Pool Structures Nearly Complete
January 28 – One of the two reflecting pools at the September 11 Memorial is almost complete, according to a report in Newsday. The paper says the pool, which will reflect the void left when the towers fell, is now the size of the footprint of the WTC’s North tower. The steel structure is at street level now and shows where water will cascade from the sides into a void in the center.
SOM Renews Lower Manhattan Lease
January 28 – A major architectural firm has renewed its lease on Wall Street. GlobeSt.com reports Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) signed a 10 year lease for approximately 65,000 square feet at 14 Wall Street. SOM has been a tenant in the building since 1998. The building’s owner, Capstone Equities, recently poured $50 million into making the building energy efficient.
Safety Bills Approved by City Council
January 29 – Two new construction safety bills were approved by the City Council. One will require contractors with poor safety records hire and pay for independent safety compliance officers, who will work under the Department of Buildings. The second bill requires general contractors to obtain a safety registration number from the DOB to get building permits. This will allow DOB to track a contractor’s performance and identify those with patterns of non-compliance and poor safety records.
Speaker Silver Hosts Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Hearing
January 30 – At an Assembly hearing on the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan, Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward told Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver that he does not think the project needs independent oversight, as Silver called for. The PA also explained that the FTA, LMCCC and Independent Integrity Monitor are among the existing oversight measures. Following Ward’s testimony, developer Larry Silverstein told the Assembly panel, he has not been invited to large stakeholder meetings since Labor Day regarding delivery dates of sites 2, 3 and 4. In a statement, Ward said the PA is working hand in hand every day with Silverstein Properties and they are happy to talk with Silverstein about how else they want to strengthen this work. Ward also announced at the hearing that the 9-11 Memorial will be open permanently by the 10th anniversary of the attacks. He said there will be public access and safety measures to shield visitors from the construction on the site. Many had feared the site would be open for just one day.
Fulton Transit Center Seeks Stimulus Funds
January 30 – The Fulton Transit Center will apparently get $497 million from the final federal stimulus package and that will help complete the project according to MTA CEO Lee Sander. He also said the cost of the project is now $1.4 billion, nearly double the estimate shortly after 9-11.