Tuesday, January 09, 2007

When it rains, it pours.

1504 8th Avenue-Discarded crack monitors left behind at the base of the damaged side wall.
Since July these plastic two piece monitors have been removed and replaced countless times as the wall continued to deteriorate and the cracks multiplied and got wider. Now that the building has been evacuated, most likely permanently, I wonder if the monitoring will continue. No demolition or side walk shed permits have been applied for by the buildings owner, yet. If the building must come down, it will be interesting to see how the corner building, 1502 8th Avenue, will be protected.

Yesterdays rain storm transformed the construction site, both geologically and bureaucratically speaking, into a quagmire. The sandy clay soil tried to absorb as much water as possible and then when it became over saturated, rivers formed that sought out the lowest lying areas, finally pooling at the lots southwest corner.

The construction crew took the day off. Of coarse, a Department of Buildings inspector finally showed up, (with helpful prodding by Community Board 7) in response to the multiple 311 complaints concerning unsafe conditions and damage to neighboring properties; What is known as a "failure to protect adjoining properties" complaint. Although the inspector found the fence line in terrible condition and evidence of the ground sinking, cracking, and shifting, he said he was not able to write any violations. According to him, it seems that someone needs to be actually doing construction work on the site during the inspection for a violation to be issued. The inspector listened carefully and seemed genuinely concerned, empathizing on what life must be like being surrounded by multiple knuckleheads- referring to the other construction sites at 400 15th St. and 1638 8th Avenue (aka Lake Windsor). Yet a quick look at the DoB Buiding Information System web site will show all complaints to be "resolved". Disappointing to say the least. Everyday old cracks get wider and new cracks form. At this point in the game, we are seeking an official time-out, so that foundation work already performed can be examined by engineers to see that it has been built "as per plans" and, exisiting damages can be inventoried and documented before the big dig begins.
Then there is still the matter with Memorial Baptist Church to investigate... the list gets longer everyday.

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