200 Amsterdam Has Concrete Problems; DOB Orders Partial Construction Shutdown After Spill

Photo of the site last week by Stephen Harmon.

By Carol Tannenhauser

A construction accident caused the Department of Buildings (DOB) to place a partial Stop Work Order on the mega tower rising at 200 Amsterdam Avenue at 69th Street, nearly two weeks ago. No one was hurt but more than three cubic yards (the equivalent of 600 gallons) of concrete were spilled. As of Tuesday, the order was still in effect.

“On Dec. 6, DOB was called to the scene at 200 Amsterdam Avenue to respond to reports of a construction accident involving concrete operations,” Abigail Kunitz, Deputy Press Secretary at DOB, emailed West Side Rag. “Upon arrival, investigators determined that while workers were pouring concrete on the 11th floor of the new building construction site, the concrete pour hose struck the formwork causing approximately three cubic yards of concrete to spill out onto the site. (Formwork is the temporary mold that is used to shape poured concrete, usually made of wood.) No injuries were reported associated with this incident, and the accident did not affect the structural stability of the under construction building.”

DOB suspended all concrete operations and cited multiple violations, including “failure to safeguard the construction site; failure to conform to the approved designs for the formwork; failure to submit a formwork inspection report to the department; and failure to submit engineering reports. The partial Stop Work Order for concrete operations remains in effect,” Kunitz said.

SJP Properties, the developers of 200 Amsterdam, focused on the “partial”  nature of the order. “Construction at 200 Amsterdam is underway,” a spokesperson emailed on Tuesday. “We currently have over 100 workers throughout the construction site and are making continued progress. We are addressing a concrete-related matter and are coordinating closely with DOB. We fully expect to have this issue resolved within the next couple of days.”

Correction: We originally reported the amount of concrete spilled in gallons. Concrete is measured in cubic yards.

    1. Westsider says:

      DOB – Check the crane while you’re at it. Thanks!

    2. AC57 says:

      Cubic Yards? Really? Can we not use metric units?

      But at the same time, they’re being stupid. I support this building, but at the same time, they’ve done a few too many things wrong, given their circumstances. One would think they would take extra special care. And this isn’t people trying to find slip-ups. These are actually dangerous mistakes, which, for the scaffolding, I said was just a mishap, but after seeing this, it really feels like they’re rushing and trying to cut corners. My message is this: I still support the building, but do what needs to be done to build the structure safely and soundly. This should be done as soon as logically possible. Pull back the completion date if need be, but don’t endanger the public. This is the second stop work order in as many months. I thought at first that this was just usual mishaps, but it’s starting to look questionable now. I want the building to go up, but under the best circumstances.

    3. Sam Eskenazi says:

      The construction crane hasn’t moved since Dec. 12 and there are no more than a handful of workers at the site above the second floor.

      • Raquel says:

        I can verify that there have been less than 10 workers per day at this site since this “accident” happened as I live *next* to the site. No work to continue progress on the building has occurred since 12-6. My husband and I were starting to think that they’re permits were revoked because of how fast they were laying the floors prior to this. The SJP email response is laughable, and completely false.

        This accident just comes after a long list of improperly securing this site and constructing this building.

    4. AC says:

      Concrete is never measured in Gallons. Its measured in Cubic Volume. Here in the US, concrete is measured, sold, and delivered by Cubic Yards. To give you an idea of how little/much concrete was wasted, a concrete delivery truck within City Limits is limited to a delivery of 10 cy.

      On a side note. In the construction world, spilling 3 cubic yards of concrete due to a formwork issue is not a big dilemma and they shouldn’t have gotten a Partial Stop Work Order for it. Unfortunately for the developer/contractor, this site has a bulls-eye on its back and DOB is under pressure to fine them for any possible infraction.

      I rather DOB concentrate on life/safety issues throughout the entire city (Workers not tying down, crane inspections, etc.)

    5. Paul says:

      I have witnessed the site working after business hours, with a much smaller crew. After reading the other posts, I agree they are not looking real shoddy, in a rush. Running crews after site hours.

    6. Jen says:

      failure to submit engineering reports sounds like something hard to overlook. But it is almost expected from the company who knowingly manipulated the zoning laws. Unbridled greed and complete lack of scruples. They got away with one thing, now they are doing the same with everything else. They are not going to do anything right unless caught.