130 Liberty letter released
Bovis Lend Lease has removed workers and supervisors from the Deutsche Bank demolition project after the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. expressed safety fears.
“They’ve made both line and management changes,” L.M.D.C. President David Emil said Tuesday at a City Council hearing on the project. Emil said Bovis had been cooperative and may make additional staff changes soon.
Emil called for the changes in a Jan. 29 letter to Bovis, which Downtown Express obtained last week via a freedom of information request. In the letter, Emil told Bovis he had “grave concern” after the many recent “near misses” on the job, including a melted light, a deck collapse beneath a construction vehicle and a damaged sidewalk shed.
“We are not comfortable that the present team can assure compliance with the plans going forward,” Emil wrote in the letter, which is posted at downtownexpress.com. “Therefore, we request that you make appropriate changes in Bovis senior staff immediately.”
Some portions of the letter were redacted before Downtown Express received it. Emil said at Tuesday’s Council hearing that the L.M.D.C. would release the full letter after the agency resolves all of the contractual disputes with Bovis.
In the letter, Emil sounded particularly concerned that Bovis workers did not call 911 after a light melted. Under the site’s safety plan, workers are supposed to notify the Fire Dept. about any smoke or fire incident, no matter how small. Emil also reminded Bovis in the letter that any worker who deviates from the approved project plans should be fired immediately.
The letter ends with a reminder that adds teeth to Emil’s complaints: “L.M.D.C. reserves all of its legal rights with respect to the failure of Bovis to comply with the Implementation Plan,” Emil wrote.
— Julie Shapiro