NEW YORK CITY-Acting Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri revealed on Wednesday that the City is launching an analysis of high-risk construction activities, which is welcoming news following this week’s scrutiny of the Department of Buildings here. On Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed concerns over numerous construction accidents that have occurred over the past five months, and on Tuesday, New York City’s Buildings Commissioner, Patricia Lancaster resigned.

Even with the news of a $4 million investment to conduct an intensive, in-depth assessment of high-risk construction activities–high-rise concrete operations, excavations and crane operations–to determine the steps that need to be taken to ensure safety, industry insiders still voice major apprehension. Nora Gross, a local development expert, who currently serves as leasing director of Flatbush Gardens, tells that “while development in New York City reached its fever pitch, the DOB did little to keep up, other than churning out permits for work sites, many of which should never have been approved in the first place.”

Gross explains that the manpower to keep these sites inspected and safe was never increased accordingly. “Sadly, the tragedies that have occurred over the last few months are the logical conclusion to [the] storyline we have been looking at for some time now. On one hand, most people–including community and laborer advocacy groups–are happy to hear that the systematic failings of the DOB are being addressed, but Mayor Bloomberg’s acknowledgement of the issues that have been prevalent come across as a day late, and a dollar short.” Gross did say however that examination of the DOB is better late than never.

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