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Deconstruction of The Deutsche Bank Building
July 1, 2009
8:21 AM
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The last I heard is the cost are just skyrocketing (bringing the total price tag to $173 million) and prosecutors are investigating allegations of overbilling by Bovis Lend Lease a major contractor at the Sept.11 Memorial, Citi Field and three other huge New York projects, including the Deutsche Bank Building.

June 30, 2009
7:42 PM
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BrocktonPete
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What's the latest, haven't heard anything lately.

December 11, 2008
6:49 AM
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Looks like there is some trouble brewing now! The district attorney's office plans to ask a grand jury to bring manslaughter charges against a mob-tied subcontractor, John Galt Corp., and corruption charges against 14 individuals hired to demolish the toxic tower, three reliable sources said.

September 10, 2008
8:13 AM
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Starting today demolition of the portions of floors (14th - 20th) that were damaged in last years fire will take place. Each floor should take approximately 1 to 2 days to complete.

August 22, 2008
8:57 AM
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How about this, The New York Times is reporting that they didn't even have a demolition permit when the 2 firefighters died back in August of 2007.

February 8, 2008
9:32 AM
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[FONT=Verdana]The LMDC has received approval from federal, state and city regulators for the amended plan governing the abatement of 130 Liberty Street. As a result of this approval, LVI Services, Inc, the subcontractor, will be permitted to proceed with the abatement of the building. The approved plan decouples the abatement and deconstruction phases of the project and contains safety enhancements, including the installation of fire suppression systems in certain areas of the decontamination units and the fire hardening of all decontamination chambers.[/FONT]

October 12, 2007
8:38 AM
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The owner of a condemned ground zero skyscraper says work to take down the building will resume next month.

Avi Schick, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, says workers should finish resealing the former Deutsche bank tower later this month.

Deconstruction stopped after the Aug. 18 fire that killed two city firefighters. Before the fire, officials had said the building would be taken down by the end of this year. Schick gave no estimate of when it would be finished.

Twenty-six floors of the former 40-story building have been taken down.

September 18, 2007
8:56 AM
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The Deutsche Bank demolition job is a nightmare of safety violations and near disasters, with subcontractor John Galt Corp. repeatedly misleading regulators, documents charge.

Weeks before the Aug. 18 blaze that killed two firefighters, Galt workers accidentally set a safety net afire and dropped molten steel on some scaffolding. Galt workers doused the fire without calling the Fire Department.

Galt also assured the state that a crucial standpipe that failed during the fatal fire was tested and in "working condition" in April 2006. After the fire, inspectors discovered a piece of the pipe had been cut and removed.

The Manhattan district attorney and the state attorney general are investigating the cause of the fire and trying to determine responsibility.

An increasing number of incidents leading up to the fire are found in internal reports by inspectors for the federal Environmental Protection Agency and an EPA consultant, CH2M Hill of New Jersey, from March 21, 2006, through this Aug. 16 - two days before the fire.

The records show regulators were constantly citing Galt for numerous problems. At times, Galt appeared to be trying to deceive its overseers.

For instance, on June 9, 2006, the subcontractor claimed a pile of debris had been cleaned of toxic dust and passed air and wipe tests deeming it safe for disposal.

Galt couldn't provide documentation, so the EPA decided to check it out.
On the 35th floor, the EPA discovered the material was still filthy with toxic dust. After complaining that Galt was wasting their time, regulators confronted Galt executive Don Adler.

"Adler stated something to the effect that this building isn't subject to any regulations, so what standard could it possibly fail?" EPA inspector Bob Fitzpatrick wrote.

Another Galt executive, Mitch Alvo, made several excuses. Fitzpatrick noted: "He seemed to know that the material wouldn't pass the regulators' inspection
and was trying to justify it."

Galt executives did not return a call seeking comment.

More than a year later, on July 5, Fitzpatrick noted two containers with "large amounts of dust and debris" that were reported to have been cleaned.

"This is a constant and recurring problem," he wrote.

It wasn't just dust. Eight days later, inspectors watched as workers dumped contaminated water through a hole in the 20th floor.

The pervasiveness of problems appears to have led a key safety inspector to simply throw up his hands. In a March 1 visit, regulators said they confronted Bovis Lend Lease site safety manager Jeff Melofchik about numerous workers without proper hardhats or other protective gear.

The report says Melofchik "stated he was aware of the problem but didn't think it was going to be fixed."

A Bovis spokeswoman said Melofchik denies making such a statement and insists he tried to correct the problems "immediately."

One of the worst days came on July 31, weeks before the blaze that killed Firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino.

That day, CH2M Hill said Galt workers cutting steel on the 28th floor set afire safety netting hanging outside the building. Galt workers doused the blaze with extinguishers and a water hose.

Inspectors on the 23rd floor saw "pieces of molten metal" falling from above and landing on outside scaffolding.

Finally, they asked a Galt "management specialist" to identify the contents of drums of toxic waste that were to be transported from the building.

"After 15 minutes, it becomes apparent that the specialist is not really sure what is in each drum," the consultant wrote.

Two days later, the city Buildings Department ordered all burning work halted, issuing a violation for unsafe storage of combustible materials, records show.

A Fire Department spokesman declined to comment.

August 28, 2007
1:53 PM
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I was looking for more information on the John Galt Corp. and I found this article.

One Firm Linked to Bridge Collapse, Ground Zero Fire - August 27, 2007 - The New York Sun

August 28, 2007
8:00 AM
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The Bronx contractor booted off the Deutsche Bank tower job for incompetence stood to pocket extra millions by selling off all the scrap metal stripped from the damaged tower.

Under its deal with the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the state agency that owns the building, John Galt Corp. was allowed to sell off any metal taken from the tower damaged in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

At the current price of about $255 a ton, John Galt would have pocketed nearly $4.6 million in profit merely by cleaning off and selling the building's 18,000 tons of scrap metal - on top of the tens of millions for the demolition.

State officials refused to answer questions yesterday about how much scrap Galt has already sold off. In the past five months, the firm has removed 10 floors off the top of the building.

Officials would confirm only that the contractor is allowed to sell off any scrap it recovers and cleans, from steel beams to air conditioning units.

"The metals are being recovered and recycled, including the building mechanical equipment such as pumps, chillers, etc.," the LMDC told the Daily News.

The agency said the "value of the metal on recovery goes to the contractor to offset the cost of demolition." It would not say whether John Galt's profits from the scrap metal were able to lower the cost to taxpayers.

August 27, 2007
8:44 AM
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It will be interesting who takes this job on.

Everyone regulatory in the industry will be watching this job like a hawk and everything will be scrutinized down to the final detail.

I don't know of many that would want that 24 hours a day.

August 25, 2007
8:06 AM
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Just read this thread for the first time. Interesting history of the job. I would love to take that job , but i am 1/20th the size company that we would need to be. I think the more twisted , red tape , screwed up, the job is the more $$$. :mad:

August 24, 2007
4:24 PM
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Few Wanted Job at Ground Zero Tower
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By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: August 24, 2007
Filed at 4:02 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wanted: A demolition company willing to tear down a building contaminated with asbestos that some say is the most difficult project in the most difficult construction city in the world.

With building costs in New York far higher than those in the rest of the country, and a host of agencies regulating the project, a number of contractors didn't even bother bidding for the job to tear down the former Deutsche Bank building scarred by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

''This is such a unique, difficult and complex project, it's unlike anything I've ever seen in New York,'' said Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers' Association.

The job just got a lot harder.

A fire killed two firefighters on Saturday, and falling construction equipment injured two more on Thursday.

Officials said a pallet jack fell off a hoist elevator outside the building and plunged 23 stories through a shed, hitting the two firefighters. The firefighters were hospitalized Friday in stable condition, one with a head injury.

Authorities blamed the accident on a worker for John Galt Corp., a troubled contractor that was on notice that it was about to be dropped from the project for safety problems. Messages left for Galt on Thursday weren't immediately returned.

The pending termination of Galt's contract means officials will soon be looking for someone to take over the $150 million demolition job.

Before the accident, the name John Galt was known largely as a central character in the Ayn Rand novel ''Atlas Shrugged.''

It may take another fictional hero to complete the demolition.

The Deutsche Bank building has been empty since it was heavily damaged and coated with toxic debris in the attacks on the World Trade Center. It was being dismantled floor by floor as workers stripped asbestos. Once 41 stories, it stood at 26 when the fire broke out.

Firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino became trapped on one of the burning floors and died of cardiac arrest and smoke inhalation after their oxygen ran out.

Demolition work was stopped after the fire, although work to clean up debris and reseal contaminants continued. Even that proved to be dangerous.

Officials have said they will wait until the results of the fire investigation to restart demolition, which had been halted after the remains of Sept. 11 victims were found on the building years later and nearby residents expressed concerns about health hazards.

Private contractors have been working on the state-owned building, while multiple local, state and federal agencies have a hand in the decontamination and deconstruction.

''There are a number of very good abatement companies who just did not want to compete for this job, given those complexities, given the concerns of the community,'' said Coletti, of the trade association.

Any prospective company will have to have the experience -- and the insurance -- to go where few others are willing.

''There may be any number of companies whose insurance companies just won't insure this project, which will then shrink the pool further,'' Coletti said.

One former company at the site, Gilbane Building Company, said it would at least consider bidding on the project.

''When and if there is a solicitation we will review and look at it, and based on what it is, we may or may not have an interest,'' said Wes Cotter, a Gilbane spokesman.

The building's owner, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., bought the tower three years ago and took over the project. The city Department of Buildings issued a separate permit for each floor before it could be taken down.

''The Deutsche Bank project, the numbers are so big I almost thought about going back into the demolition business -- but New York is a whole separate planet in this stuff, completely different from the rest of the country,'' said Mike Taylor, executive director of the National Demolition Association.

The project has dragged on for years, but in the rest of the country, a typical demolition job takes about a month, Taylor said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Tuesday ''there was only one contractor willing to work on taking down the building, as far as I know.''

A day later, that company was told it would be taken off the job.

As difficult as the project may be, Coletti said there is one thing all the various agencies, companies and residents can agree on: ''Everybody wants that building down.''

August 24, 2007
8:54 AM
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I got an e-mail this morning from LMDC:

JOINT STATEMENT FROM NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS AND FIRE DEPARTMENT REGARDING

INCIDENT AT 130 LIBERTY STREET

At approximately 2:00 PM, a worker employed by the John Galt Company was working on the 23rd floor of 130 Liberty Street when he lost control of a pallet jack he was operating. The jack traveled through the door of a construction hoist, falling 23 stories. The falling jack landed on the top of a temporary covering, which partially collapsed, injuring two firefighters. The firefighters were transported to St. Vincent’s hospital. Firefighter William Corbetis, of Engine 258, is in serious condition. Firefighter Neil Nally, also of Engine 258 is in stable condition.

The Buildings Department’s Stop Work Order, issued after Saturday’s fire, remains in effect for demolition activities. The Stop Work Order did not apply to remedial work (such as cleaning of debris and repairing scaffolding), which the individual operating the pallet jack was conducting. Since today’s incident, all work has been halted to allow for an investigation by the Fire Department.

August 23, 2007
12:40 PM
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And the hits just keep on coming:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08.....he.html?hp

August 23, 2007
3:07 AM
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Looks like it's all over, Galt was hit with a "Notice of Default" yesterday from Bovis Lend Lease, the general contractor. The notice axed Galt from the project, citing numerous safety violations at the demolition site and "the failure to properly maintain all required site safety precautions."

August 20, 2007
8:37 AM
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Yep, truely sad.

Rumors are flying that the workers were smoking in the building right before the fire started.

Demolition has been put on hold once again, looks like no 6 million bonus.

December 18, 2006
6:04 AM
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Is that all that they have showing up?

December 14, 2006
6:37 AM
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The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation calls the job action by subcontractor John Galt Company, a "minor work stoppage." The agency says it was in contract negotiations with contractor Bovis Lend Lease when Galt workers walked off the job.

December 13, 2006
7:01 AM
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Well ins't that interesting. With things like this, it maybe their last.

I usually get e-mails updates from the LMDC, be interesting if they send out something today. If they do I will post it.

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