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New 'Urban Umbrella' Scaffold Leaks Rain on Mayor Bloomberg

By Ben Fractenberg | December 7, 2011 7:43pm 

DOWNTOWN — Maybe they should rename it the "Leaky Umbrella."

The unveiling of a new city scaffolding design got off to a wet start Wednesday afternoon when the structure — called the "Urban Umbrella" — leaked water onto Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a photo-op outside 100 Broadway with its designers.

The scaffolding, which is made out of recycled steel and has translucent plastic panels on top, was constructed Tuesday and had not yet been waterproofed since that needs to be done when the weather is dry, according to Sarrah Khan, one of the Umbrella's the three designers.

Khan added that silicone will be used to fill the gaps in the structure, keeping those underneath it dry.

"In a dense urban environment like New York these structures are critical to public safety," said Bloomberg at a press conference after inspecting the scaffolding. "But let's be honest about it, they are not attractive. And since there are thousands of them up around our city at any given time we saw an opportunity to make the structures easier on the eyes and safer as well."

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