July 21st - July 25th, 2008
New Pier 40 Proposal on the Table
July 22 – The Hudson River Park Trust is scrutinizing a new proposal to develop Pier 40. It was submitted by the Pier 40 Partnership, a community group that opposed the so-called “Vegas on the Hudson” plan that included a home for Cirque Du Soleil. The $430 million proposal includes athletic fields, rooftop gyms, swimming pools, three public high schools and a hall for corporate parties, all on top of the massive pier. A spokeswoman for the Trust told The New York Post, if the plan is approved, it would still be 12 to 18 months before construction could start due to the environmental and land use review processes.
Port Authority Strikes Agreement with Church
July 24 – The Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the Port Authority have reached an agreement to give the church a new home at the corner of Liberty and Greenwich Streets. According to several published reports, the PA will give the church $20 million to reconstruct its church. Half of that will come from JP Morgan Chase which wants to develop the Tower 5 site. In return the PA gets a key 1,200 square foot parcel of land at West and Cedar Streets that it needs to begin excavating for the Vehicle Security Center. The Port Authority will also pay up to $40 million for a blast proof platform and foundation under the church. St. Nicolas Greek Orthodox Church was a tiny three story church which was destroyed on 9-11.
City Council Approves Building Safety Measures
July 24 – The City Council approved several measures in the hope of improving construction safety. One would have building inspectors classify maintenance violations as hazardous. Those violations include loose material, dangerous storage for combustible materials and falling hazards according to AM NY.
CDC Offers New 9/11 Health Grants
July 24 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced $30 million in grants to three hospitals or clinics to treat residents, students and other nonresponders who were exposed to dust and smoke at ground zero. According to The New York Times, institutions will have to apply for the grants.
New Hudson River Park Segment Opens
July 24 - A new part of Hudson River Park has opened to the public. It’s a nine mile section starting at Laight Street and running to King Street in Tribeca and cost $16.3 million to construct. The Hudson River Park Trust said the completion of this segment marks the halfway point of the park which runs from Battery Place to West 59th Street. The new segment includes a boardwalk meandering through grasses and flowers, a new basketball court, free telescopes and steel sculptures as well as shady areas and an esplanade.
Crane Safety Gets Federal Attention
July 25 – A rash of crane related fatalities across the country prompted nine members of Congress to send a letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, asking her to issue a new safety standard for cranes and derricks. In a story in The Wall Street Journal, the lawmakers said it was ‘unfathomable’ that OSHA hadn’t implemented recommendations made in 2004 by labor and industry to issue a new standard to improve crane safety. OSHA said regulatory and legal requirements have slowed the rule making process.
NYPD and Port to Share WTC Security Duties
July 25 – The NYPD and the Port Authority have reached an agreement that will give the NYPD most of the control over security operations at Ground Zero. Under the agreement, the city will develop the security plan for the site and the PA will pay for the security equipment. The NYPD will set up a 600-cop unit which will over see personnel and technologies including screening procedures and vehicle access at the site. The PA will be responsible for security at the Transit Hub. Before 9-11, the PA police had control over security at the WTC.
Gerson to Offer WTC Recommendations
July 25 – Councilman Alan Gerson announced he will issue his own recommendations for the WTC site later this month. The City Council has no authority over the site, but Gerson who represents Lower Manhattan said, “We have the moral authority of the voice of the community and the city at large.”