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Skyscraper blueprintsfound in trash

NEW YORK — The government agency building a 102-story skyscraper at the World Trade Center site is investigating the discovery of two sets of blueprints for the building that a homeless man says he found in the trash.

The schematic documents for the Freedom Tower, under construction at ground zero, were marked "Secure Document — Confidential," the New York Post reported Friday.

The documents, dated Oct. 5, 2007, contain plans for each floor, the thickness of the concrete-core wall, and the location of air ducts, elevators, electrical systems and support columns, the Post reported.

Michael Fleming told the newspaper he found the documents on top of a public trash can in downtown Manhattan, with written warnings on it to "properly destroy if discarded."

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the World Trade Center and is building the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, has protocols requiring contractors and architects with secure and nonsecure documents to shred them, spokeswoman Candace Mc­Adams said.

Port Authority inspector general Robert VanEtten launched an investigation into the discovery Thursday after officials learned about the Post story, Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said. Port Authority officials were "extremely upset" about the discovery, he said.

"We don't tolerate stupidity," Coleman said.

Mishandling the blueprints would be "cause for serious disciplinary action — up to termination for employees and breach of contract and legal action for contractors," McAdams said, though she said the plans have been updated since October.

Tishman Construction Corp., the main contractor building the tower, declined to comment Friday. The building's architect, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, didn't return a message.

The Port Authority does not have offices near where the papers were found, Coleman said. He said he didn't know whether any contractors do.

Information from Newsday was used in this report.

Skyscraper blueprintsfound in trash 04/18/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 10:39am]
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