Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Asbestos alert at Rosbergs site?

The excavator which had got stuck in the Rosbergs basement Oct.26, 2009 (see here) was finally removed after hours of persuasion by three tractor-trailer-type tow trucks pulling and balancing the machine while coaxing it out of the hole by cables. One of the difficulties during removal was that a large steel beam had got stuck under and between the excavator's treads as it sank, wedging the machine in at an awkward angle. On the Queen St. side of the building, to gain access to the stuck excavator, one of the city's trees was cut down.

The excavator was operational after removal, with minor damage, nevertheless, the Rosbergs demolition site was quiet today, for another reason: apparently, the work site was closed for further demolition due to asbestos being on the site.

The asbestos has been plainly visible for weeks as sheets wrapping some of the wood and steel beams in the structure; but, why only now is this being made into an issue, after probably hundreds of people walked by the site as it was being worked on by the fire marshall's crews?

Was it some kind of safety hazard since day one (after the Oct.4 fire); or did it become a hazard just today, Oct.27, 2009? Why wasn't there a warning about possible asbestos posted at the site weeks ago? City Hall is just across the street: where were the inspectors?
above: Oct.27, 2009, the excavator had been in the hole in the foreground. The steel beam which had been stuck under the excavator is seen in the hole. The pile of brick rubble which lined the sidewalk yesterday is seen crushed down at this point, where equipment needed to gain access. To the bottom right is seen the stump of the city tree which was removed to get at the excavator.
above: Oct.27, 2009 - the rescued excavator is seen parked in the background. The removed tree stump is to the bottom right.
above: Oct.27, 2009 - steel beams, salvaged from the interior of the site yesterday, sit piled at the rear, some appear to have thin asbestos sheeting attached.
above: Oct.27, 2009 - these steel beams have sat exposed like this since the fire. There appears to be ragged asbestos sheeting hanging off the beams seen at the bottom, and also along the beam in the distance.
above: Oct.27, 2009 crews from the gas company were on the site, searching for underground pipes and marking the sidewalk.
On a rainy Oct.28, 2009 there was no activity on the site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You'd think the town would do a better job of keeping that site roped off so kids and animals couldn't get into the mess. Not to mention what is blowing around in the rubble.

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