Bloomberg proposes bill to bar use of older cranes

From left: a tower crane and Mayor Bloomberg
From left: a tower crane and Mayor Bloomberg

In one of his last initiatives while in office, Mayor Bloomberg proposed a bill yesterday to prevent cranes manufactured more than 25 years ago from operating at building sites in the city.

The bill would require owners of mobile or tower cranes to install load cycle counters that record data on every lift performed by the equipment over its lifetime. Bloomberg has introduced the proposal to the City Council for review, according to a statement from the mayor’s office yesterday.

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“New York City has some of the toughest crane regulations in the world, and we enforce crane regulations more stringently than anywhere else,” the mayor said in the statement. “Since 2008, the City has adopted more than 25 new construction safety laws, conducted tougher inspections and raised licensing standards for crane operators. This legislation builds on those efforts by ensuring only state-of-the art, highly reliable equipment is transforming New York City’s skyline.”

A March 2008 crane accident at 303 East 51st Street, between First and Second avenues, killed seven people and damaged nearby buildings. Kennelly Development was planning to build condominiums on the site, where HFZ Capital Group took over in 2009, building the 123-unit Halcyon NY, which hit the market earlier this year.

Last year, as a result of Hurricane Sandy, a crane at the construction site of Extell Development’s condominium and hotel development One57 snapped in the winds of Hurricane Sandy, threatening to plummet 1,000 feet to street level, as previously reported. — Mark Maurer