NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Following concerns over falling ice in Manhattan, officials reopened roads on Monday afternoon.
But the Department of Buildings is warning that it’s the property owner’s responsibility to keep their buildings safe, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported.
Road closures in Midtown and Columbus Circle delayed the morning commute for both pedestrians and drivers alike.
“I think this is an over-precaution and very inconvenient for New Yorkers that live and work in the area,” one man said when asked if he’d noticed any ice falling or heard cracking.
According to the DOB, concerns over falling ice were reported this weekend at construction sites. Violations were issued to general contractors at 53 W. 53rd St. and 217 W. 57th St., where work on the sites were forced to stop while potentially dangerous falling ice was cleared.
“When falling ice is falling we have to clear the area and make sure it’s safe. Then we wait for the building engineer to make the decision,” NYPD Chief of Transportation William Morris said.
Cellphone video shows the response after ice was reported falling from another Midtown building over the weekend. Similar concerns prompted street closures that included 59th Street from Columbus Circle to Fifth Avenue and West 58th Street from Fifth to Broadway. Officers had to help pedestrians navigate around the road blocks.
“It kind of sucks having to walk double the amount in traffic and in the cold,” said Aria Smith, who works in the area.
“I should’ve just stayed on the other side of the street and walked all the way, because I can’t go through here. I got to walk all the way around,” pedestrian Lawrence Williams said.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen this. This is the first time,” another person added.
With temperatures reaching a balmy 50 degrees, concerns over falling ice lasted until Monday afternoon. For the next deep freeze, building and property owners are being reminded to clear roofs and overhangs of snow and ice, and to make sure gutters are free from debris to allow for proper drainage.
Again, the road closures were out of an abundance of caution. No injuries were reported.