Oct
24

Cracks at the new digs

By

As the Yankees worked throughout 2008 to build their new stadium, a story about one of their contractors — and a subsequent indictment of that contractor — came to light. In June 2008, a Times story revealed that the city was investigating Testwell Laboratories for skimping on its concrete testing, and last October, the company was indicted. On both occasions, the Yankees said an independent contractor had verified the tests. Everything was supposedly a-OK with the new stadium concrete pours.

Today, The Times tells us a different story. William K. Rashbaum and Ken Belson report that cracks have appeared in the stadium ramps. Although the Yanks say these cracks are cosmetic, it could cost a few million dollars to repair the problem and may involve chipping out the entire ramp in order to rebuild it from scratch. Says the article:

The concrete pedestrian ramps at the brand-new $1.5 billion city-subsidized Yankee Stadium have been troubled by cracks, and the team is seeking to determine whether the problems were caused by the installation, the design, the concrete or other factors, according to several people briefed on the problems.

The ramps were built by a company accused of having links to the mob, and the concrete mix was designed and tested by a company under indictment on charges that it failed to perform some tests and falsified the results of others. But it is unclear whether work performed by either firm contributed to the deteriorating conditions of the ramps.

The Yankees have hired an engineering company to take samples from the ramps — they ascend from field level to the stadium’s upper tiers, carrying thousands of people each game — to determine the cause and the extent of the problems as the team finishes its first season in the new stadium and prepares for what could be its first World Series there.

While no one yet knows if Testwell is responsible or if any of the other concrete companies who worked on the stadium are, if the troubled company is found to be the cause of this problem, it would be the first time Testwell’s work was found to be defective.

The key takeaway here, though, is this from Rashbaum and Belson:

The problems also underscore the inadequacies in the process by which the city vets contractors on projects like the stadium, which was financed in significant part by the city but built by a private developer, Tishman-Speyer. The procedures for screening contractors on projects financed by the city’s Economic Development Corporation, as the stadium was, are less rigorous than for projects built and paid for by the city.

Hopefully, tonight, the stadium will be rocking, and in a few weeks, the Yanks will fix this concrete-related problem.

Categories : Yankee Stadium

44 Comments»

  1. gxpanos says:

    Get Axisa on the job.

    Any engineer commenters? They could form a corporation!

    • Mike Axisa says:

      They probably just added too much water to the cement when they poured.

      • Scooter says:

        Or maybe they did the same thing as these Big Dig contractors in Boston:
        http://boston.fbi.gov/dojpress.....080409.htm

        “Between 1996 and 2005 the defendants delivered approximately 5,000 truckloads of non-specification concrete to the Big Dig. Each truckload comprised approximately ten yards of concrete. This concrete included recycled concrete that was over ninety-minutes old, concrete that had been adulterated with the addition of excess water, and concrete that was not batched pursuant to Big Dig project specifications…

        … The defendants also directed that fly ash be eliminated from the concrete mix specifications on the occasions when Aggregate Industries ran short of fly ash. Fly ash is an essential ingredient in concrete that makes the it more durable and prevents the infiltration of water.”

        With NYC money and the mob allegedly in the mix, makes you wonder if the FBI will get involved here, too

  2. crapulent aka I said good day sir says:

    I find the ramps and the stairs etc at the stadium to be quite odd.

  3. thurdonpaul says:

    on opening day i was sitting in the grandstand section 413, i noticed some rust on the facade, i was like WTF !!
    brand new billion plus stadium and theres rust already ?

  4. Accent Shallow says:

    Character!

    Just more evidence it’s impossible to spend such a large sum of money efficiently

  5. SamVa says:

    Surprised it’s not the met’s new stadium.

    How appropriate for the steroid era.

  6. Sean A says:

    I was at the stadium opener against the Cubs and seen the edges of steps already chipping off.

  7. YankeeJosh says:

    i noticed the chipping the first time I was in the new Stadium in early June when I went to the Museum. It’s actually gotten orse since then. Hope it gets fixed. It’s clear that for whatever reason, it wasn’t done right.

  8. Michael Kay says:

    “Burnett! Get your tattooed ass down there and throw down some new cement. Phil & Joe will be down to help you after the game.” -2000 era George Steinbrenner

  9. Simple Jack says:

    My friends and I noticed a lot of crack on opening day also but I never thought that it would be this huge story now. I guess when you spend 1.5 billion you better get perfection.

  10. mustang says:

    I had a few friends have houses built and during the first year while the houses are still settling cracks sometime develop on the walls.

    Just wondering if this might be part of the problem.

  11. jim p says:

    And the ramps are the only part built with concrete?

    • mustang says:

      Thanks you just made me feel really safe about seating up in the 300 level.
      LOL

      • thurdonpaul says:

        damn, im probably gonna be in the 400 level for game 1 on wednesday, i hope i dont fall on your head ,lol

      • jim p says:

        Well I’m sure your safe at this point. But in 2 or 3 years… remember 1998 when concrete and a beam crashed? And wasn’t there something similar in the pre-renovated Stadium in the mid-70s? Can’t seem to find a link about that, so maybe just a false memory.

        Just remember, it’s the cheering in the 300 section that guarantees us a win, so don’t stay home on my account.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      It’s a steel building, you can see the beams holding up the floor above in the picture. Those cracks are nothing more than an eyesore. It’s not a structural problem.

  12. Daniel says:

    Those aren’t cracks.
    Even our stadium is gritty.

  13. Drew says:

    I just assumed the cracks were the usual “still settling-new building” deal.

  14. Whitey14 says:

    That’s what you get for mixing Red Sox jerseys in your concrete…;-)

    • Jack says:

      Because the Sox are used to crumbling?

      • Whitey14 says:

        Touche!

        No, because everybody knows that a jersey is not an ingedient in concrete. Where did you think I was going with that? To some lame place where I claim the Red Sox have propped up portions of the Yankee dynasties with dumb trades and the selling off of star players? Or that by placing a Red Sox jersey in the concrete at Yankee Stadium they could somehow jinx the Yankees?

        I would never do that ;-) It might make me look jealous that the Yankees are still in the playoffs and the Red Sox are playing golf (probably still swinging and missing too ;-) and we can’t have that!

    • mustang says:

      +1
      LMAO

  15. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    People in wheelchairs have had it way to easy anyway.

    /expressway to hell’d

  16. AJ Burnett's Chin Music ensemble says:

    wow no metion of the 1000′s of nails sticking through the underside of the the upper deck roof…

    • I’m going to assume that you seriously think those are nails. Now, assuming that, I’m going to tell you that those aren’t nails. They’re anti-pigeon spikes. That’s a purely intentional aspect of the design, and trust me when I say, it’s a good thing.

      • tim randle says:

        screw you racist pigeon haters!!!

        wtf is wrong with being a pigeon??? you just dont understand their culture–where they come from ITS OK to poop everywhere.

        stop hating :(

  17. Darren Spenzak says:

    This story and the comments here crack me up.

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