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Crane Collapse Repairs to Continue Through the Week, Officials Say

By Irene Plagianos | February 9, 2016 6:57pm
 Worth Street remains closed to traffic as repairs continue.
Worth Street remains closed to traffic as repairs continue.
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DNAinfo/Irene Plagianos

TRIBECA  —  Repairs are pushing ahead after a massive crane crashed down along a two-block stretch of TriBeCa, killing one pedestrian and injuring several others — while those who live and work on the street are also trying to get back to normal.

Just a few minutes after Jill Maro came into work last Friday, she heard the thunderous booms.

"I mean I was just shocked," said Maro, an instructor at NYC Elite, a kid's gymnastics center at 44 Worth St., "I ran upstairs and saw this huge crane smashed onto the ground, right outside our windows — I couldn't believe what I was seeing."

Eight of the gym's windows were smashed by the impact of the 565-foot-long crane, which plummeted just before 8:30 a.m. on Friday, amid gusts of wind.

But on Tuesday, the gym, with scores of small children bouncing, tumbling and running, was back to business, the eight large glass windows fixed.

Outside, repairs to the street on Worth, from Hudson to Church streets, continued as work was done on damaged gas and water lines.

A spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection said as of Tuesday afternoon, three buildings along the block that had their water turned off because of repairs, should now have water flowing again.

Gas remained turned off at five buildings along Worth Street, but a spokesman for Con Edison said that gas would be available to the buildings by Wednesday morning. 

A spokeswoman for the city's Office of Emergency Management said they anticipate repairs to Worth Street to continue at least through the weekend, before the blocks are available to cars once again.

One block of Worth Street, from West Broadway to Church Street, is now open to pedestrians along the sidewalks, and businesses, as well as a New York Law School building, were up and running.

A spokeswoman for New York Law School, which sits on that stretch, said they had heat, water and electricity in the building.

The block remained closed off to cars and pedestrians between Hudson and Church on Worth Street, aside from those who live on the block.

One resident of that block, Bruce Ehrmann, said their water and heat were just starting to work on Tuesday afternoon — but Ehrmann remained angry about the placement of the crane in the first place.

The crane was being used for work on the roof of 60 Hudson St., the building across from Ehrmann's apartment, in the days before the crash.

"That crane was one of the biggest operating in the city," said Ehrmann "What gives [the building] the right to put a community at risk like that."

Others in the community have also voiced concern about construction safety in the aftermath of the crash, especially as the city is phasing out the Department of Transportation's Lower Manhattan Commissioner's office, which is dedicated to coordinating more than 90 construction projects Downtown.

The office has been vital to the community, as Lower Manhattan rebuilt after 9/11 and is now in the midst of a construction boom, said Catherine McVay Hughes, the chairwoman of CB1.

"There is so much construction going on in Lower Manhattan," McVay Hughes said. "And its critical that we have every resource to make our community safe."