Monday, November 05, 2007

The Carlton Avenue Bridge closure: from nine months to two years (and why?)

[Updated:] Note corrections and updates below.

It's another confusing element of the not-terribly-credible Atlantic Yards timetable. The Carlton Avenue Bridge, according to the construction schedule (excerpt at right) that was part of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) approved by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), was supposed to close on 11/1/06 for nine months.

We knew that the project was way behind schedule, but we didn't know that the bridge, over the MTA's Vanderbilt Yard between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue, now would be closed for two years. (Why does it need work? According to Chapter 12 of the FEIS, "Carlton Avenue would be widened and converted to two-way operation between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street.")

Correction: That information came as part of a document (excerpt above; full document at bottom) regarding a 10/15/07 planning meeting hosted by the ESDC. (I was sent the document via a Community Board member. While I initially believed the document was prepared by the ESDC, the agency tells me it was not their document. It may have simply been produced by the community board, summarizing the meeting.)

Updated:It turns out that, between the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and the FEIS, the construction schedule changed. As stated on p. 17-23 of the Construction Impacts chapter:
The closure and reconstruction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge would occur from late 2006 through late 2008, over about a 24-month period. The reconstruction of the 6th Avenue Bridge would commence following the opening of the Carlton Avenue Bridge, and would be completed in late 2009.

(Let's back that up one year.)

On p. 17-1, it states:
The Carlton Avenue Bridge effort, which was scheduled to be completed within the first 12 months of construction in the DEIS, would likely take two years to facilitate LIRR Vanderbilt Yard reconstruction.

This, however, was not updated on the Construction Schedule attached to the FEIS. My error in not checking both, and the ESDC's error in not updating the Construction Schedule.

Arena, 2011?

If the Carlton Avenue Bridge closes November 15, it would reopen 11/15/09. If the Sixth Avenue Bridge takes a year to reconstruct, it wouldn't open until 11/15/10. That would place the opening of the Nets arena, which Bruce Ratner now admits wouldn't occur until the fall of 2010, in some jeopardy.

And if that means the Nets would have to wait four years, rather than three, in the best-case scenario, maybe Bruce Ratner's visit to the Prudential Center in Newark is not purely recreational, and that Newark might serve as an interim--if not permanent--home for the team.

The document

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