UPDATE Sunday 7:25 p.m.: The operation to secure One57’s breakaway boom has been completed, and all streets are being opened except for two lanes on the north side of West 57th Street, the New York City Department of Buildings announced Sunday evening.
UPDATE Saturday 11:50 p.m.: Cue the hallelujahs — the broken One57 crane has been secured, although the streets in the area remain closed. The snapped boom has been rotated to face the building, so that it is no longer hanging precariously above West 57th Street.
The New York City Department of Buildings’ official account tweeted Saturday 7:19 p.m., “We’re working to secure the boom of the
#Sandy tower #crane @ One57 & hope to open all buildings/streets by Monday. Thanks for the support.”
Original story: Looks like One57’s infamous dangling crane won’t be hanging around for long.
A Manhattan high-rise’s construction team has presented the city with a plane to secure the crumpled boom over West 57th Street, which forced the evacuation of nearby buildings when the crane buckled amid fierce Sandy gusts Monday afternoon.
Under the proposal, a worker will rotate the entire crane using a small hand crank until the broken boom is facing the building, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Then, crews would use cables to secure the boom to 10- to 12-foot steel arms near the top of the under-construction 90-story tower on 157 W. 57th St.
Next, a derrick, or lifting device, would be attached near the top of the 1,005-foot-tall building to lower the snapped boom to the ground. The damaged boom would be replaced with a functioning one so construction work could continue on the project.
The plan is under review by the city; the boom-securing efforts could begin as early as this weekend and be finished within 48 hours, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Police are still restricting the area, but rumors abound that area residents may be able to return to their homes Sunday evening.
At least one One57 neighbor is incensed about Extell Development’s storm bugaboo (boom-aboo?). Author Michael Gross was forced to leave his ninth-floor apartment and penned a scathing op-ed in the Daily Beast:
“According to news reports, Barnett has apologized but been otherwise less than forthcoming. I guess he’s too busy to care about mere middle-class mortals: he has a billionaires’ club to run! Lend Lease, which the New York Post quickly revealed to be a serial flouter of construction laws, has apologized, too, but shucked off blame on the city, saying it inspected the crane on Friday and certified that all was well then. Bloomberg, the great friend of developers and billionaires, has not said much, either, though he has informed us that the villain was God, not a lapse in foresight, common sense or safety by the folks who erected the now-flaccid boom of doom.”
Giving the unfortunate analogy another tug, Gross adds, “Drooping next to Extell’s huge erection, the crane looks like a bad omen. It’s Gary Barnett’s flaccid, dangling boom of doom.”
Here’s a comparison of the crane, before/after the boom was rotated: