Here's why a helicopter will be lifting equipment to the roof of the Corning Tower this weekend

Corning Tower looking up, close up

A handful of roads will be closed near the southeastern end of the Empire State Plaza this Sunday because crews will be using a helicopter to lift materials to the top of the Corning Tower. (The road closures list is below.)

The crews will be moving equipment for a new maintenance rig for the Corning Tower. Joseph Brill, a spokesman for the state Office of General of Services, said the process is planned to include a series of nine lifts, starting at approximately 9 am, which will include more than 11 tons of equipment. The schedule is dependent on the weather.

Why the need for the equipment? Well, in short, it makes it possible to maintain the exterior of the 42-floor building. As Brill explained in an email:

The new rigs replace the original rigs installed on the roof more than 50 years ago. The maintenance rigs are elevators that go on the outside of the building instead of the inside. Their replacement is equivalent to putting new elevators in the tower.
In addition to carrying people, these rigs are specially designed for safety during outside work. They will be able to carry windows and façade stone that need to be replaced and equipment and tools. The rigs will also be used for window cleaning. The new rigs can carry a 3 person crew plus an auxiliary hoist with 1500lb capacity and provide full access to the façade - including the ability to reach into corners.

The original rig was also installed via helicopter, with sections lifted from a spot near Lincoln Park and then flown over to the tower. The equipment for the new rig is being staged on the ground at the Grand Street parking lot.

The Corning Tower was completed in the early 1970s. Back in 2014 it added a small enclosure on the roof for the maintenance rigging. And in recent years the state also refurbished the passenger elevators in the 589-foot-tall building.

Road closures

From the Albany Police Department:

Road closures from 7 am until approximately 5 pm:
+ Phillip Street between Grand and Van Zandt
+ Hamilton Street between Grand and Phillip
+ Sidewalks will be open for residents

Road closures from 8 pm until approximately 5 pm:
+ Eagle Street between Madison and Lancaster
+ Eagle Street northwest at Lancaster Street - Full Closure
+ Phillip Street at Madison Avenue - Half Closure (East Bound Traffic)
+ Arterial from P-1 level ("Mousehole") to Madison Avenue

Structure/Parking closures from 7 pm until approximately 5 pm:
+ Corning Tower
+ Wadsworth Health Labs
+ Concourse corridor from Corning Tower to the Post Office
+ East Parking Garage
+ Grand Street lot
+ Walkway from Concourse level to East Parking Garage
+ All plaza level structures and outdoor areas within 150 feet of Corning Tower
+ P1, P2, and P3 South parking levels

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine