Building Materials Evaluation Handbook
Three sleek new skyscrapers inch their way to completion in a five-block stretch of Madison Avenue, a tribute to the continuing popularity of midtown ... Show synopsis Three sleek new skyscrapers inch their way to completion in a five-block stretch of Madison Avenue, a tribute to the continuing popularity of midtown Manhanttan as one of the world's most elegant and expensive addresses. Beneath the skyscrapers-which will house such blue-chip tenants as American Telephone and Telegraph, International Business Machines, and Continental Illinois National Bank-the city's water and sewer system decays. Limousines clog the Wall Street area each day, whisking the captains of business to their appointed rounds, and each night the chauffeur-driven cars line up at Le Cirque, Regine's and the Plaza. But the drivers take their passengers down the FDR Drive at some risk, for the major East Side highway is crumbling. The landfill underneath is slipping into the East River, and concrete chunks regularly break off from the ceilings of the drive's tunnels. In addition, New York must find another $20 billion to $30 billion to rebuild the rest of its physical plant. It must replace much of its 2,400 mile water and 6,100 mile sewer system (much of it is more than 100 years old). The city must repair its bridges; the Manhattan Bridge can sway several feet when a subway crosses, and cables snap on the Brooklyn Bridge (one killed a pedestrian in the summer of 1981). It must repave a large portion of more than 6,000 miles of streets. "The outlook is grim," former deputy mayor Solomon says of the city's problems.