Crumbling Concrete

East Coast, Other
Friday, October 31, 2008
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Yankees Stadium was one of 102 projects identified by the DA as falsely inspected by Testwell.

Yankees Stadium was one of 102 projects identified by the DA as falsely inspected by Testwell.

Yesterday, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau served an indictment against a dozen employees of a concrete inspection company, which the DA cited for improperly inspecting at least 102 buildings in the city in recent years. According to the Times‘ account, Testwell, of Ossinning, New York, was “the city’s leading concrete-testing firm.” AN picked up a copy of the indictment today, and how right the paper of record is.

What is striking is the number and range of projects Testwell touched–or didn’t, as the case may be. The Times notes three–the Freedom Tower, new Yankees Stadium, and the Gensler-designed Terminal 5 for Jet Blue–and adds that city officials believe all projects to be safe, though the quality of the concrete may be inferior and thus have a shorter lifespan.

But the other 99 projects are not just faceless outer borough in-fill. 7 World Trade Center is there, as are a number of high profile projects, including Norman Foster’s Hearst Building, Frank Gehry’s Beekman Place tower, Polshek’s Brooklyn Museum Expansion, FXFowle’s One Bryant Park and 11 Times Square, KPF’s Goldman Sachs HQ in Batter Park City, and the new Greek and Roman Gallery’s at the Met by Beyer Blinder Belle. (The indictment [we've linked a PDF of the list below] lists the gallery as MoMA, but that can’t be right.

Not surprisingly, roughly half the projects are nondescript luxury condo projects–10 Barclay, 150 Lafeyette, 801 Amsterdam, Latitude Riverdale–not unlike the majority of construction work in the city during the recent boom. A number of government projects, big and small, local and federal, are listed, including Brooklyn Borough Hall, I.S. 303, Thurgood Marshall Federal Courthouse, as well as a number of collegiate buildings.

Perhaps most unsettling, safe or otherwise, are the infrastructure projects the company worked on, such as the Second Avenue subway, New Rochelle MetroNorth station, and, scariest of all, the deck replacement of the Triborough Bridge. There are a few oddballs, too:the USS Intrepid‘s refurbished Pier 86, the Pier 90 cruise terminal, the massive Xanadu commercial complex at the Meadowlands.

The Testwell 102

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