Volume 21, Number 44 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | March 13 - 19, 2009


Galt still haunting Deutsche demo with old violations

By Julie Shapiro

Before the long-delayed demolition of the Deutsche Bank building can resume, the construction contractors have to remedy 17 of 24 outstanding violations and pay the city at least $22,800 in penalty fees.

The unresolved violations date back to before the August 2007 fire in the building that killed two firefighters. The Buildings Dept. issued the violations to several subcontractors who are no longer on the job, which makes it harder to collect the penalties. John Galt Corp., the former subcontractor indicted with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the deaths of the firefighters, has 11 outstanding violations and likely owes $17,000.

Ray Master, who is supervising the project for contractor Bovis Lend Lease, which hired Galt, said resolving the violations is mostly a matter of paperwork, not physical compliance.

“All violations are corrected immediately,” he said.

Michael Murphy, spokesperson for the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which owns the building, said the violations would be resolved well before contractors are ready to start demolishing the building in the middle of May.

If necessary, Bovis and subcontractor LVI Environmental Services, which replaced Galt, will front the money needed to resolve the violations, then later seek reimbursement from the former subcontractors, Murphy said.

Getting the violations resolved is just one piece of the draft demolition plan the L.M.D.C. has written with its contractors. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver hosted a public meeting on the plan last week, and the L.M.D.C. is accepting comments through Fri., March 13. The L.M.D.C., Bovis and LVI will then make changes to the plan and submit it to government regulators by the end of the month.

The biggest change to the plan, compared to the one the L.M.D.C. was using before the fire, is that Bovis will complete the decontamination of the building before demolishing it. The 26-story building is now decontaminated down through the fourth floor, and the facade is removed down through the 12th floor.

Local residents raised a slew of concerns about the draft plan at Silver’s meeting last Thursday in addition to the outstanding violations, including dust, noise, contamination and human remains.

Several people, including Pat Moore, who lives next to the Deutsche Bank building, wanted LVI to do all its concrete crushing in the building’s basement, so the community would be protected from dust and noise. But Jim Mooney, a regional manager with LVI, said there was not enough room in the basement and the crushing would happen outside at street level. LVI will use hoses and a snow machine to keep the dust down and will work with the city if noise is a problem, Mooney said.

Kimberly Flynn, head of 9/11 Environmental Action, said the demolition plan left too many questions unanswered, including whether LVI would use a chute to get debris off the building. Several city agency representatives said the contractors would have to submit more detailed plans to get permits for specific tasks.

Sally Regenhard, whose son was killed on 9/11, asked about the search for human remains.

The city has collected 783 bone fragments from the building so far, mainly from the roof, said Bradley Adams, director of the city Medical Examiner Office’s forensic anthropology department. The city wants to search other parts of the site as construction progresses, Adams said, though he did not say where or when. A spokesperson for the Medical Examiner declined to comment on whether this could delay the building’s demolition.

Julie@DowntownExpress.com


 

 


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