NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s nearly 300 miles of construction scaffolding in New York City, but are they being properly inspected and regulated?
It’s top of mind for a lot of people after a collapse near the corner of Broadway and Prince Street in SoHo Sunday injured several people.
It was a frantic scene after high winds sent plywood, sheets of steel, and metal beams raining down onto the street below. Six people were hurt, and now many walked through the city on Monday on edge.
“We’re unsure,” resident Theo Hanson said. “We think they’re gonna hold up, but you know, by the same token we don’t know. It’s scary.”
“It’s dangerous with all these people walking around, especially on a windy holiday week,” Kenzo Hirose told CBS2’s Reena Roy.
Meanwhile, workers were back on the scaffolding just a day later as a Department of Buildings inspector was inside taking notes on how the different factors played a part.
The scaffolding was put up last December for a repair project and had no complaints. It’s unclear when or if it was ever inspected for safety, but the DOB says all 7,800 units across the city are required to be checked daily by the property owner’s contractor. The findings are to be written in a log, which inspectors will no doubt be looking at soon.
The agency inspected all 300 miles of scaffolding in New York last year, only finding two percent to be unneeded and just 20 units to be hazardous.
Some say the city can do better.
Resident Thomas Gentile says the city needs better management and monitoring of the situation.
“I think there’s just too much construction in the city and too many permits issued at one time,” he said.
Local council members agree, saying the structures often stay up too long because its cheaper for building owners than taking it down and putting it back up for future projects.
“I think we need to have a renewed push to really move forward and make sure these scaffoldings that are up are inspected to make sure that they’re secure, that they’re not up in perpetuity,” Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) said.
The investigation into Sunday’s collapse continues.