Structural engineers in New York this week mounted a high rise rescue operation to secure a 260m high tower crane damaged after Hurricane Sandy ripped through downtown Manhattan last week.
The crane collapse occurred during construction of the One57 tower in midtown Manhattan. Once the storm had passed city officials quickly rushed to close nearby streets fearing the damaged section could break free.
However, engineers on the project have successfully completed a delicate operation to rotate the damaged crane through 180 degrees back towards the building and secured it safely to columns over three floors using steel rigging cables.
Structural engineers from WSP Cantor Seinuk were called in to check the proposed solution would not damage the building’s structure. Its chairman Silvian Marcus told NCE that the firm had been working with Lend Lease, the main contractor on the project, to check its proposed rescue plan to secure the crane.
“We needed to check the columns to make sure they can support the weight,” said Marcus, adding there was no doubt the structure would be able to support the 11.4t load.
To secure the crane, engineers accessed the site via a platform some 230m up and climbed up to the crane to rotate it manually. It took about an hour to rotate the crane, and then workers began slinging a series of steel cables to secure it in position.
With the crane secured to the building by Sunday morning (4 November), New York Police Department officers began opening the nearby streets.
At 306m tall when completed, One57 will be the tallest residential building in New York. The building itself was undamaged during the hurricane according to Marcus.
Marcus said that the investigation into how the crane collapsed had not yet begun.