Is there anything Buy-America can’t screw up? An Italian company won the bid for its diagonal elevators, but the “performance specifications” were written to favor American subcontractors:
Project administrators preferred that the software and other components come from American companies with whom they were more familiar. (The authority said its contractors, not the agency itself, made these decisions after being presented with performance specifications.)
The controller was made on Long Island. The speed governors, or limiters, came from Ohio. Other pieces, like buttons and speakers, were manufactured in Queens. “It’s like if Ferrari would be instructed to put in a Chevy engine and a Ford transmission,” said Charley Hart, the project manager for Kone, the company overseeing the elevator and escalator installation. “Yes, it can be done. But it’s a challenge.”
The elevator and its assorted pieces passed tests separately, and other construction appeared to be moving apace. Publicly, officials said they remained on track for a Bloomberg-era start date. But when the parts were integrated for the July test, the system failed. Mr. Horodniceanu has taken to calling the elevator his “mutt,” for its hodgepodge pedigree.
Even if they get the elevator working, I wouldn’t feel safe riding it.