Volume 21, Number 9 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | July 11 - 17, 2008

Work at 50 West

Time Equities is adding safety measures and traffic mitigation to its construction at 50 West St. that go beyond what the city’s code requires.

The developer just broke ground on the 65-story condo and hotel tower, which will rise above street level next summer and open for occupancy in 2011.

To increase the site’s safety, Time Equities is hiring an extra site safety manager, holding weekly toolbox talks with shop foremen and employing a 24-hour fire watchman and security detail, said Dermot Johnson, director of project management for Time Equities

Time Equities also worked with the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center on a traffic flow study of the neighborhood, planning how HRH Construction, the contractor, will get materials on and off the site. Under the plan, trucks turn off West St. onto Rector St. and then turn down Washington St. The construction site extends east into Washington St., taking up one lane and giving the trucks on-site space to unload.

“That’s much safer for pedestrians,” Johnson said. When workers unload trucks on public streets and then move the materials into the private site, there is a chance that pedestrians could get caught in the middle and get hurt.

“I was very impressed by it,” said Ro Sheffe, chairperson of Community Board 1’s Financial District Committee, after seeing a presentation of the plan. “I’m glad to hear the builders are taking measures beyond what is required by the code.”

HRH Construction is working one shift from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Johnson does not anticipate many variances to do work beyond those hours. The site will have one tower crane to build the tower, but it will not arrive until at least next summer.

Johnson said his team looks at the construction accidents that happen in the city and around the country to see what they can learn from them. At the same time, he added, “We try to focus on our job, what we’re doing.”

--Julie Shapiro




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