The construction industry wants to demolish new city regulations banning cranes from operating in windy conditions.
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the group of construction trade organizers and unions says the city Dept. of Buildings newly enforced rule banning cranes from operating when winds exceed 30 miles per hour is unnecessarily hurting businesses.
The suit says the rule has no scientific basis and is “arbitrary and capricious.”
“DOB can point to no engineering or scientific study and no other municipal, state or national regulatory scheme that has found that crawler crane operations somehow become unsafe at 30 mph and, by inference, are safe at 29 mph,” the suit says.
The suit acknowledges the city rule actually dates back to 1968, but says it was rarely enforced.
DOB announced that was changing in the wake of a crawler crane collapse in Tribeca this past February.
The Worth Street collapse, which happened during 40 mph winds from an impending winter storm, killed 38-year-old David Wichs, who was walking to work.
The city has been investigating the collapse, but has yet to issue a determination on what caused it, the suit noted.
The groups want the 30 mph provision and new regulations that were put in place after the collapse nullified.
A rep for DOB said it will fight to keep them in place.
“The city’s crane rules are there to protect people’s lives. Cranes should not be operating in high winds. We look forward to reviewing this action and are confident we will prevail,” the rep said.