Thursday, July 24, 2008

Go, Mayor Malloy! Trump Parc is SHUT DOWN...

until they clear the building to proceed, on a floor by floor basis, starting today. I actually attended the mayor's press conference yesterday, my first ever. There were a few reporters, a cameraman, a photographer, some guys in hard hats, and me. I must have looked odd in my workout clothes, pointing my little camera at the mayor.

The mayor said the bottom 22 floors that are already partially enclosed by windows could be back in action today, but he was "somewhat dismayed" by conditions on the top few floors. He said there was debris on all floors that didn't need to be there; tools and materials they were done working with, but had not cleaned up. While I'm surprised the workers didn't manage to clean up for the mayor's inspection, I guess I am happy they did not try to hide the evidence. Now, I get to gossip about it.

The mayor met with the contractor and outlined new safety measures, including better netting and "kickboards," that must be installed before any other work can proceed. I assume a kickboard is a piece of wood acting as a barrier on the edge of the building, so no one will accidentally kick something from 34 stories into the street. The News 12 reporter showed me the type of object that smashed into UConn Wednesday. It's tiny, but it must have come from the very top of the building to have managed to sail across 6-lane Broad St. The Advocate reports that Wednesday's debris was blown, not kicked, off the building; either way, it sounds like there were plenty of those items lying around.

The best thing: the city will now have an on-site inspector at Trump Parc, every day, paid for by the contractor, until the glass is fully installed in all floors. Yeah! The inspector will have the power to stop work immediately if he finds violations that threaten safety of passersby.

While I commend the mayor for all of these amazing steps, I think the inspector should have been there after the second accident, especially since the builder allowed things to stay sloppy. Malloy said, "We've also instructed that any open areas on floors 8-22 be fully cleaned and that any openings be fully secured with a footboard or netting." There were open spaces where things could fall through; that's not OK when people are walking right below. The contractor should have known that. If he didn't, why wasn't the first- or second!- incident of a smashed car enough of a heads up? I'll give a big Stamford Talk "DUH" on that. The contractor did not take enough care to protect pedestrians and drivers, and that should have been obvious before the third incident. What if Wednesday's projectile had pinged a little baby in the eye? Rrrrrrrrr I am still angry.

I still don't really get how that little object managed to impact the bottom window of UConn. In this left of this pic, you can see plywood and caution tape at the damaged window. You can also see how it was right at "baby in a stroller" height, as opposed to the first projectile in May, which took a more adult-like "rip through cab of a truck and narrowly miss killing driver" path. That was a hefty ten pound chunk of something or other. June's airborne debris was a metal cable that landed on the back half of a car, blowing out the back windows. Ka-blam! Oh, the silly shapes that airborne construction debris can take!

I hope we take this as a lesson to act sooner rather than later in the future. We're lucky to have gotten away from this situation with no one badly hurt... yet. I still plan to avoid the site until the crane is down.

A big thank you to Mayor Malloy, Director of Operations Ben Barnes, and whoever else helped bring about these new measures.

My favorite part of the conference:
Mayor: Any questions?
Advocate reporter Elizabeth Kim shoots her hand up.
Mayor: Yes?
Kim: Will that crane be stopping? (We all look up and observe the 40-story crane lifting something heavy-looking up into the sky.)
M: Yes. We only decided to stop work about two minutes ago, and word probably hasn't reached everyone.
Kim: So that crane will be stopping?
M: Yes, it will be coming down.

I liked her spirit. Read her excellent article on the press conference; it's so much more coherent and organized than mine.

Later, the mayor clarified "coming down." Turns out they are almost done with the crane because all the forms have been laid on the top floors. They're going to start using elevators to bring stuff up soon. YES!!!!!!!! I cannot wait until that crane is gone. That, along with kickboards, should significantly decrease the risk of things falling on us.

Click on the "Construction/Development" tab in the right hand column to read all my posts on Trump Parc.


Manager Mom said...

So the mayor called a press conference before he really gave the order to stop? Or that he didn't really stop anything, but called a press conference to make it seem like he's hard-lining the construction?

That's kind of bizarre. I like Malloy but I think he is driven by showboating more than substance sometimes...

patty said...

While Ms. Kim's story is quite good, nowhere in it does she give anyone a big ole Stamford Advocate DUH.

Therefore, I prefer your version.

Phil said...

There's the investigating blogging that I love this blog for. I drove by the UCONN building on yesterday, and I couldn't imagine walking around down there and something fell.

I'm glad it didn't take someone getting hurt to get the mayor to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Dude, its the third time that we KNOW about. I live on this street and for months I've considered walking to Target potential a hazard. –CP

Anonymous said...

It's nice that Dannel Malloy can show up to have a press conference on an issue that should have been a slam-dunk from the first moment a piece of construction debris fell to the ground. It's so typical of the most ineffectual mayer this city has ever seen.

Maybe Dannel Malloy can be bothered to cut the staff at the Government Center or does he just like to have a big empire? When the city, and most private businesses in the city are struggling, a cut of the city employees seems in order.

I had the misfortune to visit the GC a few days ago found employees having coffee breaks in the morning, in the afternoon when I had to come back with additional information, and, most outrageously, just surfing the internet. I am sure eliminating the slackers who read the NY Times online or check their personal emails will not affect government.

How about it Dannel, get rid of 10% or is the patronage already too thick? Or you still relying on the teat of UBS. It looks like that cow will stop giving milk real soon. So 10% to save the city.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't already read it, you're not going to believe the SPIN BS that the Stamford Advocate wrote you today on Trump Parc titled "Trump Parc leads transformation of Stamford" UNBELIVEABLE! OUTRAGEOUS! SOMEONE GOT PAID UNDER THE TABLE

Stamford Talk said...

Anonymous, I saw the article and was also struck by the headline. I just posted about it, and quoted you. Hope that's OK.
Thanks for sharing your opinion here and I hope you'll keep doing so!

Anonymous said...

yeah, but lets go easy on the libel.