Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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UWS Residents Still Shut Out Of Apartments Following Wall Collapse

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The headaches continue at a Manhattan housing complex Monday, where residents were forced to evacuate last Wednesday because of fears their building may not be stable. Almost a week later, residents say they are still waiting for a satisfactory answer as to what went wrong. NY1’s Michael Meenan filed the following report.

Seventeen families at Park Village West on the Upper West Side were still shut out of their homes Monday, almost a week after the collapse of a construction site retaining wall next door to 784 Columbus Avenue forced an emergency evacuation.

Until the city says it's safe, residents of the P-line of apartments, those on the very corner of 784 Columbus, are in a Manhattan hotel — their tab paid by their landlord.

A woman who lives in the O-line of apartments right next to the corner told NY1 that although she is back home, she still does not feel safe with the blasting and heavy construction next door to put up a 29-floor high-rise.

"If the P-line is closed and they've been evacuated, no one knows until when, the other apartments adjacent and the rest of the apartments in the building can’t be completely safe,” said building resident Ursula Davis

The city says that safety is their first priority and engineers are keeping the P-line apartments empty until the wall beneath is totally safe. But residents say that's only solving part of the problem.

Park West residents NY1 spoke with said that long before this retaining wall problem, the heavy blasting next door created major hassles for them.


"Many people are just deliberately leaving their apartments during the day because they can’t stand the dust and the noise," said resident Michael Chenkin.

For now, the blasting and construction on the high-rise is on hold while that retaining wall is fixed.
On Monday that meant pouring fresh concrete and letting it settle.

When the wall is safe, says the Department of Buildings, the 17 families shut out will be allowed to return home. But construction on the high-rise will still be on hold until the construction company clears up violations the city issued.

-Michael Meenan


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