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BELLEVUE, WA-Five days after a 210-foot construction crane fell here, damaging three adjacent buildings and killing a Microsoft lawyer in his apartment, there is no definitive word on when work might restart on Tower 333, the 20-story office building the crane was helping erect. Hines, the developer, isn’t making any guesses, and the estimates from government officials range from two weeks to two months.

Most cranes are typically bolted deep into a building’s concrete foundation. The crane that fell Thursday was bolted to a custom-made base of steel beams. Northwest Tower Crane Service, which installed the crane, told a local newspaper this week that it had never before installed a crane in such a fashion. The base was designed by the project’s general contractor, Seattle-based Lease Crutcher Lewis.

State investigators now are studying the construction of the custom-made base. The crane collapsed after dozens of bolts and welds ripped or sheared from the base. Some have speculated that the crane’s connection to the base may have been weakened by high winds last week.

In an attempt to prevent further accidents, state inspectors over the next week will visit the 13 other construction sites in Bellevue that have tower cranes, according to the state Department of Labor and Industries. A DLI spokesperson says the agency will release no more information on the accident investigation until it is complete, which could take up to six months.

A source at Hines told GlobeSt.com on Tuesday that the existing structure is being inspected for damage by structural and geotechnical consultants. Work will restart when “the safety of the site and the community can be assured,” the source said.

Prior to restarting work at the site–workers are up to the fourth level of the tower’s eight-story underground garage–Bellevue city officials must assess damage to the 20-story office project and determine how it should be fixed. DLI officials also must sign off on the restart.

The lone death occurred when the crane crashed into one of four buildings that comprise Pinnacle BellCentre, a 248-unit complex owned by BRE Properties. The San Francisco-based public company announced Tuesday that six of the 62 units in the building have been taken out of service while it determines the full extent of the damage.

Plaza 305, the most heavily damaged adjacent building, remains uninhabitable this week and may remain so for the foreseeable future. The falling crane sheared off the northwest corner of the building at 7:30 p.m., after workers had already gone home for the day.

One of the tenants, Pacific Continental Bank, has relocated operations in the building to Downtown Seattle. The other two businesses leasing space in the building–the staffing agency AppleOne Employment and Intelligent Results, a software company–are still seeking alternative space, according to published reports.

The only other adjacent building damaged by the crane was Civica Office Commons, which is owned by New York-based Brickman Assoc. The building itself and space leased to six different businesses sustained damage when the crane’s concrete counterweight punched two holes in the building. The damage did not compromise the building’s integrity, however, and all six units were inhabitable as of Monday, according to published reports.

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