The residents of two Brooklyn apartment buildings were required to leave last week when construction work on an adjacent lot created stability problems in the buildings. At least half of the people evacuated were moved to hotels for safety.
It is not clear who called the city to warn that the work was causing “extreme trauma” to the structures. The apartments were inspected the previous day, but the inspector saw no cracks. But by the next morning, numerous cracks became visible. Tenants said that the cracks appeared after the construction site next door generated intense vibrations. They also said that the building had appeared to shift.
One tenant noted that there were cracks over the windows and that his doors would not close because the building had settled.
Several calls were made to the city before the inspector appeared on Tuesday. The evacuation was conducted by the fire department.
A spokesman for the buildings department said that the Bronx contractor, Procida Construction, was had received a stop work order and several building violations in July. The city is now investigating whether excavation work violated the stop work order, which had been partially lifted.
Source: Daily News, “Brooklyn apartment buildings evacuated after construction next door makes structures unsafe,” by Christina Boyle and Greg B. Smith, Aug. 15, 2012.