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NYC workers replace crane damaged by Sandy

NEW YORK (AP) – Workers in New York City carefully replaced the boom of a massive crane on Saturday, more than six months after it was twisted and warped by Superstorm Sandy and left dangling dangerously over the streets of Manhattan.

Early in the morning construction crews began lifting the boom to its lofty position above 57th Street. The crane’s top is about 1,000 feet up.

Residents of two nearby apartment buildings were ordered out Friday as a precaution. The city’s buildings department began letting people return Saturday afternoon.

Displaced residents got $1,500 checks from the development company for their troubles.

Matt Mazer, president of the condominium board at one of the evacuated buildings, said he was “perfectly happy” to get his family out of the way. He said he felt justifiable anxiety as he watched the crane part, which weighs several tons, being hoisted over his building.

Many of the same residents had to flee their buildings in a hurry on the night of the storm, when Sandy’s high winds nearly snapped the previous boom from its cab. If it had fallen from that height, it could have crushed buildings or killed people in the street. It was days before residents were allowed to return.

“We are going through an inconvenience, not a tragedy,” Mazer said, though he added that the experience was unnerving. “It’s like living in one of those disaster movies where a meteorite is going to hit earth. And that crane is the meteorite.”

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