Will the Tower Cranes Survive Irene?

In reviewing the many ways that New York City is planning for Hurricane Irene, including mandatory evacuations and a total shutdown of the subways and trains, it was noticed that there is a concern for the 26 tower cranes presently located in the city. 13 of the cranesare at the World Trade Center construction site. They are only built to withstand winds of 65 mph or less. They do not disassemble quickly and may not be able to be taken down in time for the storm.

In light of the forecast for winds in excess of 65 mphthe cranes seem more like sitting ducks. Not that anyone needs to be told, people should stay far away from all tower cranes even after the storm ends until the cranes are checked out. Hopefully the cranes are positioned so that if they fall they fall in a direction least likely to harm life or property. Meanwhile, the New York City Buildings Department has announced that all work at construction sites in New York City suspended as of 2 p.m. Saturday, August 27 to 7 a.m. Monday, August, 29, 2011, due to the severe weather conditions expected from Hurricane Irene.

All previously issued construction permits, as well as after-hours variances and temporary place of assembly permits, are suspended during this time period. This excludes work related to safeguarding construction sites or damage repair work related to the storm. Today was eerily like the calm before the storm. Imagine not having the ability to predict what is headed our way! Let’s hope for everyone’s safety and well-being.

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