NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City crane operators have averted a strike after negotiations went down to the wire.

Louis Coletti of the Building Trade Employers Association says two unions representing crane operators, excavators and maintenance engineers agreed on a new contract late Thursday, less than two hours before their contracts expired.

Work could have been halted at World Trade Center sites and a new basketball arena in Brooklyn.

The New York Building Congress said a strike would have threatened $10 billion in unionized construction projects. The trade association says construction spending is down 25 percent from its 2008 peak and a strike would have come at the wrong time.

Details of the agreements were not immediately released.

Operating Engineers Locals 14 and 15 did not return calls for comment.

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