NY tower crane recovery could take weeks

The crumpled tower crane boom remains unsecured due to the high winds

A photo shows the perilous state of the crane's boom.
A photo shows the perilous state of the crane's boom.
At 306 metres, One57 will be the tallest residential tower in NYC.
At 306 metres, One57 will be the tallest residential tower in NYC.
The sight of the damaged crane has fast become a magnet for tourists and curious onlookers.
The sight of the damaged crane has fast become a magnet for tourists and curious onlookers.

While New York is facing a massive clean-up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, one problem looms above all others: the tower crane with a broken boom atop the 306-metre tall One57 building beside Central Park.

Winds remain too high for work to be done on securing the boom, and more than 1000 residents have had to be evacuated from surrounding buildings, as well as from several nearby hotels that have been closed.

The boom, which crumpled in the high winds, is hanging freely. New York city mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a press conference that as soon as the wind speed drops, crews will work to strap the damaged boom to the building.

This will remove the immediate safety worry that it could fall to the streets below, and allow roads and buildings to be reopened.

But bringing the crane down could require a second tower crane to be assembled alongside it, which would be a lengthy process.

"The contracting company will have to figure out ways to build a new crane on top and take that one down," said Bloomberg.

While the crane had been cited a number of times for safety issues during 2012, it had been inspected only days before the storm.

The height of the building – One57 is 90 storeys high – was likely to have been a factor contributing to the collapse, since wind speeds are have a greater imact at height.

The storm was responsible for large-scale destruction personal property, and many lives were lost.

Construction sites in New York also fared badly, and photos showed water flooding into the World Trade Center site at Ground Zero, with a New York Ports Authority official saying it was likely that there was 'significant damage' to construction equipment on the building site.

 

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