Thursday, March 28, 2013

Incompetence? Construction Crew At Former Sokol Brothers Furniture Store On Columbia Street Strikes Water Main A Second Time

(photo credit: Ty Berry)
The site at 251-255 Clumbia Street on march 27, 2013

For the second time since construction began on a new 7-story condominium building on the site of the former Sokol furniture store at 251-255 Columbia Street, construction crews have damaged the water main, causing the site to flood.
The first time was at the end of January 2013.  The water main break caused flooding in several nearby residences and prompted the NYC Department of Buildings to issue a complete stop-work order.  The order was lifted shortly afterwards and construction resumed.
But just yesterday, the site flooded again.  Yes, you guessed it.  The crew managed to damage the water main again.  Prompting another full stop work order.  This time the FDNY requested a structural  stability inspection.

The photos above were sent to me by Ty Berry,  Columbia Waterfront  resident and author of the blog The Culver Local.
In a post entitled Construction in New York (or, A Study in Incompetence), Ty writes:
For the first 6 months we lived near the site, little happened save for excavation. Then, at the end of January, something did happen. They broke a water main. We woke up to find the site next door flooded with 4+ feet of water. FDNY eventually pumped it dry, but work was stopped at the site for the better part of two months. It was, sadly, not much of a surprise. We had spent months watching the site be managed with a level of professionalism that was marginal at best - an aimless construction team animated by the occasional visit by what I can only guess is the owner of the property. From our vantage point, the construction contractor(s) were rarely managed by anyone.Fast forward to last week and - finally - work began again. They laid a partial slab foundation and just today completed excavation work on the site. In fact, it was around the time they completed excavation that I was roused from my desk to see what was going on. I looked out my window and saw, little to my surprised, water pouring into the newly excavated foundation. They had struck the water main. Again.
The construction site was pumped out by the FDNY last night and work has resumed.
Incompetence?  Probably.


psternglass said...

This is a very bad situation. This developer is clearly incompetent, and I can't imagine that this will be the only problem, and I doubt that the quality of this place will be very good in the end. I had always hoped that the old Sokol Brothers building would be put to better use, but now I miss it!

something has to go up there eventually, we cannot just have a hole in the ground, but it may not be with these people.

Anonymous said...

Do we know who specifically in doing this excavation work?

Is it the same crew that messed up the first time?

These are are real questions, by the way. Frankly, I'm astounded how much shoddy work is allowed to go on without apparent consequence.

Anonymous said...

The stop work order will be lifted this week. The DOB has determined that the water main, unlike last time, was not broken due to construction.