NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city is shutting down an office that coordinates construction projects in Lower Manhattan, but in light of recent accidents, some think that’s a bad idea.
In 2004, the city and state set up the office to coordinate the post-9/11 building boom, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported. That was phased out three years ago and the Department of Transportation took over the job, but its downtown office is closing at the end of the week, says state Sen. Daniel Squadron.
“That is simply put, unacceptable,” he said.
“Ninety construction sites is a lot, that’s not going down,” Gale Brewer, the Manhattan Borough president said. “This is a perfect example of penny-wise pound foolish.”
Rachel Collins, who lives on Worth Street, told WCBS 880 the crane collapse shows the need for coordination.
“I just have serious concerns about how we’re going to continue to live in Lower Manhattan and have a good quality of life when there’s very serious construction and we’ve already had accidents,” Collins said.
The Department of Transportation released a statement to WCBS 880, saying the office will be serving the needs of Lower Manhattan until its closing on April 30.
“Please note that for the past two years, our Lower Manhattan office, located at Maiden Lane, has remained operational despite a reduction of state funding coupled with an increased workload following the elimination of the Command Center. DOT will continue to provide exceptional service, feedback, and support to Lower Manhattan’s neighborhoods from the Office of the Manhattan Borough Commissioner, which is also located on Maiden Lane,” the department said.
DOT says construction permitting and coordination operates out of DOT’s Office of Construction Mitigation and Coordination.