Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Rebuilding of Ground Zero, Part 81

It's about damned time. The former Deutsche Bank building demolition will finally resume its work after a two-year delay resulting from a deadly fire that killed two FDNY firefighters because standpipes were cut and other safety issues that were discovered in the aftermath.
Now, three and a half years after demolition of the 41-story tower began, workers next week will start the arduous job of dismantling its 26 remaining stories and removing 15,750 tons of concrete and 11,000 tons of steel.

Crews have already replaced the black plastic netting shrouding the building with blue, fire-retardant netting; removed all the walls, glass, plumbing and work sheds from the interior; and erected a plywood perimeter around the top three floors. The construction manager, Bovis Lend Lease, expects to get a permit from the city’s Buildings Department early next week to resume demolition.

In the coming months, ironworkers, operating engineers and laborers will go floor by floor, smashing the concrete into rubble, cutting the steel beams and lowering the debris to the ground under the watch of a small army of fire guards, inspectors and regulators. Sometime next spring, the star-crossed building will cease to exist.

“We believe we have developed a plan utilizing the latest techniques and best practices to safely and efficiently deconstruct 130 Liberty Street,” Steven H. Sommer, a senior vice president of Bovis Lend Lease, said in an interview on Tuesday.
Demolition work is also progressing on the nearby Fiterman Hall that was plagued by political indecision and an inability of the City and State to get the demolition work underway. Fiterman Hall will eventually be rebuilt for the Borough of Manhattan Community College, but plans for a new structure on the site of the former Deutsche Bank building are up in the air. It will be the site of a vehicle security center for vehicles entering Ground Zero, but beyond that, it isn't clear what will happen.

What we do know is that the delays in demolition have delayed reconstruction efforts throughout Ground Zero since that building was to provide access to the rest of the site.

The WTC Memorial Plaza continues to be built out; construction of the SW portion of the site is now underway. There are 694 pieces of steel involved in this section, and after this work is done, only a small section adjacent to the PATH station will need to be erected. The SW corner has been exceedingly difficult to build because of foundation work and the close proximity to the PATH tracks. When the work is done, the PATH tracks will be nearly completely enclosed but for that one area adjacent to the station.

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