NYC Engineers Honored for Crane Heroism

Both Vanity Fair and Engineering News-Record have recognized NYC Department of Buildings Assistant Commissioner of Engineering and Emergency Operations Michael Alacha, and VF also recognized Acting Assistant Commissioner of Investigative Engineering Services Timothy Lynch.

National magazines have recognized two employees of the New York City Department of Buildings who took emergency action when Hurricane Sandy caused a tower crane to collapse atop a high-rise building under construction at West 57th Street on Oct. 29, 2012. Many news outlets broadcast photos of the crane dangling precariously during the height of the storm.

Vanity Fair added Assistant Commissioner of Engineering and Emergency Operations Michael Alacha, PE, and Acting Assistant Commissioner of Investigative Engineering Services Timothy Lynch, PE, to its Hall of Fame for their actions. The two men went to the building, took an elevator to the 20th floor, and then climbed the stairs to the 75th floor to inspect the damaged crane. They took part in evacuating and cordoning off the area below and worked with colleagues to devise a plan to rotate the damaged crane's boom so it would be flush with the building and could be secured with steel cables for safe removal later, according to the magazine's February issue.

Engineering News-Record named Alacha to its 2012 list of 25 Top Newsmakers for his work during the crane emergency and the hurricane. He and the other honorees –- including Brian D. Winter, leader of the National Park Service's project to remove the dam across the Elwha River in Washington state's Olympic National Park, and Wayne Jones, project manager for a major new wall built east of New Orleans to withstand storm surge -- will be recognized April 18 at an ENR gala in New York City.

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