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Construction & Design

Advocates call for Lower Manhattan construction co-ordinator as complaints rise

Lower Manhattan advocates are calling on the city to keep a construction command center operating in the neighborhood.

From 2004-2013, the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) served a construction co-ordination role downtown.

A construction worker on a high wall against a cloudy sky.

Following LMCCC’s disbanding, DOT took on the role through the Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner’s Office. It was recently announced that this office will close at the end of the month.

With over 90 active projects in a 1.5 square mile radius in Lower Manhattan State Senator Daniel Squadron, Manhattan Borough President Brewer, Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Councilmember Margaret Chin, Assemblymember-elect Alice Cancel, Community Board 1, and community members said an office dedicated to co-ordinating construction is vital.

“For over a decade, construction co-ordination has existed in our neighborhood. And for over a decade, we’ve seen that co-ordinated construction can lead to better outcomes for the complicated, high-volume construction issues across lower Manhattan,” said State Senator Squadron.

“It’s disappointing that less than three months after a tragic construction accident in Lower Manhattan, the City wouldn’t even provide a response to construction coordination requests.”

Congressman Jerry Nadler, said “As our downtown neighborhoods continue to grow and expand, communication and oversight are critical to making the neighborhood safe, livable and functional for our residents, workers and visitors. I encourage the City to continue this vital function.”

And Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick said, “Although we are supposed to be the city that never sleeps, people deserve respite from construction noise, dust and debris and after-hour variances.

“Lower Manhattan has seen a non-stop construction boom which impacts our quality of life. I hope the City will respond to calls from Community Board 1 and local elected officials for a proactive and responsive co-ordinated effort among City agencies to address these concerns.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer noted that the neighborhood is “the center of a spider’s web of rail lines, it contains our center of government, the financial markets, and a dense and fast-growing residential population. We need a dedicated local coordinator to make all this construction manageable.”

According to Community Board 1, quality of life complaints stemming from construction projects are on the rise and include safety, off-hour work, noise, air/dust, congestion, scaffolding, garbage and rats. Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay Hughes said a vehicular and pedestrian study should also be carried out.

“No one can tell us how many vehicles are entering our congested streets. However, we do know that of the 59 Community Boards, CB1 already ranks number four in the worst in air quality,” Hughes said.

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