Spruce Street Residents Headed Home

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Some lower Manhattan residents are back home today, after officials roped off a 15-block zone yesterday due to falling construction debris.

The debris came from a 77-story tower on Spruce Street, which is under construction now and is being designed by Frank Gehry. The fallen debris included a piece of metal found two blocks away from the Forest City Ratner-owned tower at City Hall Park. Authorities report that wind speeds reached 70 miles an hour near the top of the tower.

On Sunday, the buildings department warned contractors to secure construction sites due to the windy weather.

"Contractors, this is a reminder," Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said. "You need to make sure that when you see a wind advisory, that you watch the weather and you get out there and secure your sites."

The Spruce Street building received nine other violations over the past six months for failing to keep the construction area free of debris. City officials said after yesterday's incident, they would issue violations at the building and keep a stop-work order in place through today.

Streets close to the tower were closed to traffic and pedestrians yesterday, and residents and office workers had been allowed to leave their buildings but not to reenter.

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