Asbestos Costs Rise on NY Courthouse Project

by Sokolove Law

How insidious is asbestos? Decades after many of its uses were phased out in the U.S., asbestos continues to pose a health hazard in older buildings undergoing renovation.

Proper asbestos abatement is key to public safety but it does come at a cost for municipalities. As reported by local newspaper the Register-Star, unplanned asbestos removal is driving up costs on the $8 million renovation of the Columbia Courthouse.

So far the project has rung up $192,000 in change orders for asbestos abatement, a number that could rise if more of the toxic material is discovered in the building. That figure is a far cry from the county’s original $70,000 estimate for asbestos removal, which was based on a survey by Albany consultant Alpine Environmental Services.

Supervisor Michael Benson (R-New Lebanon), who chairs the Public Works Committee, told the newspaper the county could have found a lower bid for the asbestos removal if the survey had been more thorough.

Durable and fireproof, asbestos was used in many construction products. However, asbestos can release fibers and dust into the air when it is disturbed during renovations or demolitions. If it is inhaled, asbestos exposure may lead to life-threatening health problems such as mesothelioma, a rare but incurable cancer.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation from the companies responsible for your asbestos exposure. Contact Sokolove Law today to find out more about your legal options.

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