POLS WANT CRANE ANSWERS

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Almost a month after the Oct. 8 at Columbus Square, local elected officials and community groups are still looking for answers from the Department of Buildings.

The crane’s counterweight crushed a sidewalk during construction of the mixed-use building on the corner of Columbus Avenue and West 97th Street. There were no fatalities or injuries.

On the day of the accident, Borough President and Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito called for an “open, transparent report to the public” about how the crane malfunctioned and what steps will be taken to prevent future accidents. Stringer recently emphasized that a report is “necessary” on a project that has a history of problems. In 2007, a retaining wall collapsed, causing the total evacuation of 784 Columbus Ave.

“Though this incident may have been minor compared to previous ones, residents still need to feel assured that necessary repairs have been made and they are not in danger of a crane malfunctioning again, perhaps causing greater damage,” Stringer said in a statement.

The buildings department did not return calls for comment.

Westsiders for Public Participation, a community group that has long opposed the development, volunteered to host a public meeting with buildings commissioner Robert LiMandri.

“All of our requests since the date of the crane accident have been met with nothing but deafening silence from the Department of Buildings,” said Paul Bunten, the group’s president.

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