Though construction at One World Trade Center winds down, lower Manhattan construction in general isn’t expected to stop anytime soon. In fact, the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) estimates downtown will see prevalent public and private development, which will result in well over 2,600 residential housing units over the next four years. Despite this forecast, the Command Center does not plan to continue its own work beyond 2013.
The LMCCC was established in 2004 after then New York Governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued executive orders, which were later extended and realigned under Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg in January 2011. The Command Center is responsible for coordination and oversight of all projects worth over $25 million south of Canal Street. Their mission is to “facilitate construction activities, mitigate their impacts on the community, and communicate with the public about the work and its impact.”
While the LMCCC is on its way out, some will certainly miss its presence downtown. Community Board No. 1’s director of planning and land use, Michael Levine, told Downtown Express, “They’ve done a wonderful job coordinating traffic flow. They’ve been indispensable to the rebuilding process in Lower Manhattan.” Even though some are sad to see the Command Center go, others accept that the LMCCC has fulfilled its goals through its three year 2011 extension.
The LMCCC has three individual programs. External relations oversees media communications and community relations. Environmental Compliance ensures that environmental contract requirements are upheld. Construction Coordination and Mitigation coordinates the daily activities and logistics by implementing a master schedule, while also ensuring that all necessary labor and equipment are available. The programs have been largely successful, as Levine pointed out that during the second half of 2012, there were only six noise violations and only seven out of 626 air quality readings were unfavorable.
Though the initial goals of the LMCCC were limited to coordinating projects for Port Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Command Center has taken on much more, including Sandy related activities. According to the Command Center, “Since November 2012, the LMCCC has seen 302 pieces of hurricane-related emergency equipment drop to 101 pieces,” many of which are not in active use. The LMCCC also worked alongside the City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and State’s Department of Environmental Conservation in order to monitor noise and maintain the quality of living downtown.
The LMCCC states, “Weekly meetings, regular inter-agency coordination, and ongoing response to community requests will remain at the core of the LMCCC's operations through 2013, when its Executive Orders will expire on December 31st.” Though they might be on their way out, but construction in lower manhattan sure isn’t.