An unspecified "hydraulics issue" is cited as the cause of a tower crane carrying a 13,000-lb load getting stuck in midair earlier today, Oct. 7, resulting in the closure of a midtown Manhattan street. The crane's block was stuck 400 ft above ground at the 157 W. 57th St. site and was manually lowered without incident at around 3:30 p.m., says an Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman.
The street has been reopened to traffic, but the Dept. of Buildings (DOB) has issued a partial stop-work order at the site, says a DOB spokeswoman. The investigation is ongoing, she adds.
The incident occurred at the site of Extell Development Corp.'s luxury, residential tower project, the same site where a crane did not properly "weather vane" and was left dangling during Superstorm Sandy last October.
In today's incident, an 800-ft crane was in the process of being removed when its hoisting equipment "sustained a malfunction," Lend Lease, construction manager, said in a statement. "All safety systems worked as designed," it added. "With safety as the priority, the team expedited bringing in an additional crane mechanic prior to starting the backup lowering process."
The Favelle Favco Model 440 crane was carrying a yellow concrete balancing block when it got stuck, a Lend Lease spokesman says.
The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. The New York Police Dept. says it responded to the scene at 11:25 a.m., closing the street between 6th and 7th avenues.
The incident comes as the DOB issued an advisory for contractors to secure sites in advance of today's expected thunderstorms with winds up to 40 miles per hour.
Last October during Sandy's high winds, a luffing jib flipped backward on a 1,000-ft-tall Favelle Favco-brand crane at the building, which is targeted for completion this year.
(This story has been updated to include the latest information from Lend Lease, DOB and OEM.)