Construction Challenge: How to Dismantle a Crane Dangling 90 Stories Above Manhattan

Among the iconic images of Hurricane Sandy's devastation is sure to be the video of the construction crane on the tallest residential building under construction in NYC being toppled by hurricane force winds and left dangling perilously in Midtown.
October 31, 2012, 1pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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David Ariosto provides a brief written description of the spectacle. A video of the toppling crane appears above the text.

"Affixed to a high-rise apartment building in one of midtown Manhattan's more coveted locations, the arm of a construction crane damaged by Superstorm Sandy continued to dangle perilously 90 stories above New York City.

Police have cordoned off the area around the base of the One57 building on West 57th street, as New Yorkers recover from a rare convergence of weather systems that killed at least 15 people across the state."

CNN "Out Front" host, Erin Burnett, investigated the situation further on video. Was the incident preventable? (her guest called it an "act of God"). How will it be taken down? (another crane may need to be constructed to do the job), and the seriousness of the situation as a seven-block zone around the building had to be evacuated and will remain away until the crane is brought down.

Cavan Sieczkowski of The Huffington Post wrote that "Gary Barnett, president of Extell Development, the company behind luxury residential tower One57, said that construction manager Bovis Lend Lease was waiting for winds to die down before removing the collapsed crane from the Midtown building."

"Hopefully it will hold," Barnett told Crain's New York. "As soon as we're allowed we're going to try to secure it and take it down. Right now the wind is still too strong."

At New York Magazine, Matthew Shaer provides a run down of the situation, including: who's to blame, danger to surrounding buildings, repercussions for One57 and Extell, and how long it will take for LendLease to get a new crane up there (two weeks, at the very earliest, according to one expert).

The One57 building would have been noteworthy even without the crane spectacle.

Sieczkowski writes, "At 90 stories high, One57 is set to be the tallest residential building in New York City when completed, offering unparalleled views of Manhattan. The $1.7 billion building is already a hot commodity; one penthouse is on the market for $115 million, according to Forbes. One apartment has already sold for $90 million. "

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Published on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 in CNN U.S.
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