Janet Babin, Economic Development Reporter, WNYC News
Janet Babin is a reporter at WNYC covering economic development.
The contractor hired by the MTA to operate the crane that collapsed Tuesday was hired after it submitted the lowest bid for the job. Yonkers Contracting Company is a large firm that's worked on a number of public works projects, like the World Trade Center site. But it also was fined by Occupational Safety and Heath Administration for safety violations at least four times in the last decade.
The MTA said the firm's bid for the Number 7 Subway extension job came in at $116 million. That was $12 million less than the second lowest bid.
The top bid reached close to $200 million.
Yonkers Contracting did not immediately respond to requests for comments about the bid. In a statement, the company said it's cooperating fully with authorities to find out what caused the accident.
Engineers found defects in the hoisting system of the construction crane that collapsed, killing one man and seriously injuring another.
Meanwhile, confusion continues over what entity is in charge of the investigation, as well as reopening the work site. The MTA said it would reopen the Number 7 construction site Monday, but on Friday said it's waiting for clearance from OSHA. Officials from OSHA said it doesn't need to give clearance; that it's only investigating possible violations on the site.
The Department of Buildings said its engineers are focusing their investigation on the crane's maintenance history — it was required to be examined by the contractor on a daily and monthly basis.
The DOB emphasized that the city clearly did its part, by giving the crane a full annual inspection, completed last July.