City Issues Stop Work Order at East Harlem Construction Site After Fire

By Jeff Mays on July 24, 2012 12:43pm 

HARLEM — A controversial East Harlem construction site remained shut down by the Department of Buildings Tuesday after a fire disabled a massive crane there over the weekend.

DOB officials issued a stop work order Sunday on the site at 1901 Madison Ave. at 121st Street, a day after a crane working on the project was disabled by a fire. The DOB ordered the crane be dismantled before work could resume.

"Until that work is completed, all other work at the site has been stopped," a DOB spokeswoman said Monday night. A portion of Park Avenue was closed Monday as a result of the work. A Walk in the Park first reported news of the fire.

Three cranes were brought in to help dismantle the crane Monday. By 7 p.m., the tower of the crane was lowered onto East 121st Street between Park and Madison Avenues.

"We are lowering the crane now. It should be out of here tonight," said one official from Gilbane Construction who asked not to be named because he wasn't authorized to speak on the company's behalf.

"Everything is down. Everything is safe," a DOB inspector said Monday after the tower was laid on the street. It was not immediately clear what work took place on Tuesday, but DOB officials confirmred the site remained closed as of noon on Tuesday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Construction officials said the crane was being used in the construction of a building to house residents from Goldwater Hospital who are being displaced from Roosevelt Island by the new technology campus being built by Cornell University.

One construction worker said the crane is locked into place once it is shut down. Workers had to find a way to bypass the safety measures on the crane because the electronic and mechanical base were destroyed in the fire.

A worker leaves the scene where the tower from the disabled crane rests on 121st Street between Park and Madison avenues.
A worker leaves the scene where the tower from the disabled crane rests on 121st Street between Park and Madison avenues.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

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