collapse.JPG11:46 AM (Bay City News): Traffic is once again being allowed on San Francisco’s Sutter Street, where a 25,000-pound cherry picker sank through a section of sidewalk early this morning, a public works spokeswoman said.

The cherry picker was being used to clean windows on the Banana Republic building between Grant Avenue and Kearny Street when it punctured the sidewalk at around 2:15 a.m.

It created a hole that measured about four feet by seven feet, Public Works spokeswoman Gloria Chan said.

The machine operator was not injured, and called police for assistance.

City engineers have assessed the damage and determined that no serious structural damage was done to the street or building, Chan said.

A construction company was at the site this morning installing steel plates to secure the sidewalk for pedestrians.

Mel Annuzzi, co-owner of Annuzzi Construction, said the collapse was at least partially due to the fact that the part of the sidewalk where the collapse occurred was not reinforced.

Annuzzi expects to finish the temporary installment by 1 p.m. today.

The cherry picker has been removed, and Sutter Street was reopened to traffic at about 10 a.m., Chan said.

Owners of the building will pay to reconstruct the sidewalk, Chan.

The collapse hasn’t hurt business for Banana Republic and the store was open at 10 a.m. despite the fact that the hole leads to the store’s stockroom, manager Na Yong said.

“There was minimal defective merchandise that was damaged,” Yong said.

The store is offering discounts to customers today due to the inconvenience, she said.

8:14 AM: KTVU broadcast is reporting that Sutter Street is closed between Kearny and Grant after a window washer’s cherry-picker rig collapsed at 2 AM, damaging the sidewalk.

According to a city engineer KTVU spoke with, the window washer wasn’t supposed to be using that style of what he called a “fork lift,” which at 25,000 pounds was too heavy to be supported by the sidewalk, which was atop an open, basement area, not solid ground.

“Luckily” the engineer told KTVU, the cherry picker “fell between two beams that are supporting this sidewalk” while washing the windows of the Grant Street Banana Republic.

The engineer expects that it’ll take another hour to remove the window washer’s rig. According to the engineer, they have calculated that no damage was done to the beams, and the street remains safe to use.

No one was injured in the incident.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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