Share

New York City Crane Reaches Ground

Verena Dobnik
Published: October 7, 2013

A load is suspended above the street in New York, Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 after a tower crane hoisting a load apparently got stuck about 20 floors up. A construction supervisor says the crane is the same one crane whose boom dangled dangerously nearly a year ago during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK — A concrete weight that dangled for hours Monday from a crane 40 floors above a Manhattan street, leading officials to close a long swath of a major thoroughfare as a precaution, finally made it to the ground just before the evening rush hour started.

The heavy cube made it to the pavement around 3:30 p.m. on 57th Street after workers spent hours lowering it inch by inch. The crane had been frozen with its load in midair since about 7 a.m., when a generator stopped working, said Mike Lucas, a construction field supervisor.

The street's closure created gridlock in an especially bustling part of Manhattan and raised fears that the weight could spiral out of control amid a forecast of strong storms that hit the city shortly after the weight reached the ground. The street reopened to traffic and pedestrians afterward.

The crane was being used in the construction of a luxury high-rise going up near Carnegie Hall and was the same site where a crane's boom collapsed and dangled dangerously during Superstorm Sandy.

The high-rise was dubbed a "global billionaires' club" by The New York Times after nine full-floor apartments near the top were sold to billionaires. Two duplexes in the building, called One57, were being sold for more than $90 million each.

Building department records show the crane is owned by Queens-based New York Crane & Equipment Corp. The company is one of the most widely used crane providers in the city, but its equipment has been involved in some notable accidents, including a May 2008 crane collapse that killed two workers on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

The company and its owner, James Lomma, were acquitted of manslaughter and other charges in that collapse; a mechanic pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.

This January, a rig leased from New York Crane collapsed at a Queens construction site and injured seven workers. The city Buildings Department cited the crane operator, a construction contractor and others — but not New York Crane — in that incident.

(MORE: Track the Severe Threat in the Northeast)

The company did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Cranes have been a source of safety worries in the city since two giant rigs collapsed within two months of each other in Manhattan in 2008, killing a total of nine people.

Those accidents spurred the resignation of the city buildings commissioner and fueled new safety measures, including hiring more inspectors and expanding training requirements and inspection checklists.

Another crane fell and killed a worker this April at a construction site for a new subway line. That rig was exempt from most city construction safety rules because it was working for a state-overseen agency that runs the subway system.

Associated Press writer Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.

MORE: Winter Storm Atlas' Wrath

iWitness Guzva84 captured this photo of mailboxes encased in snow in Spearfish, SD.

  • Winter Storm Atlas Snow Reports
  • Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Frisco, Colo.
  • Frisco, Colo.
  • Mount Hood, Ore.
  • Mount Hood, Ore.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Wamsutter, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Gillette, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Rapid City, S.D.
  • Wheatland, Wyo.
  • Wheatland, Wyo.
  • Steamboat Springs, Colo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Spearfish, S.D.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Laramie, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Laramie, Wyo.
  • Laramie, Wyo.
  • Laramie, Wyo.

Featured Blogs

Upgraded HWRF and GFDL Hurricane Models Excelled During Hurricane Arthur

By Dr. Jeff Masters
July 11, 2014

There have been major upgrades this year to the two operational National Weather Service (NWS) regional hurricane prediction systems, the GFDL and HWRF models. Both models did well for track and intensity forecasts for Hurricane Arthur, and the average intensity errors wer comparable to the other two top NWS intensity prediction models (LGEM and DSHIPS.)

Warmest Days of the Year for the U.S.

By Christopher C. Burt
July 9, 2014

NOAA recently produced an interesting map showing when the hottest day of the year is likely to occur in the contiguous U.S. Complimenting this map is one produced by Brian Brettschneider of Borealis Scientific, LLC, which illustrates the date of summer’s midpoint (peak of summer average temperatures) which was reproduced in my blog posted last August. Brian has also produced maps of such for the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. There is also some other great material from Brian herein.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.