Monday, August 11, 2008

From three months to 14 months: the (yet unexplained) expansion of the timetable for AY utility work

A look at documents produced by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) during and after the environmental review shows some inconsistencies in estimates of time for utility work. According to the construction schedule and also Chapter 17 of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), it was supposed to take a year. Chapter 17 states, “The major in-street utility work would begin late in 2006 and last about 12 months.”

However, the construction updates issued by the ESDC offer contradictory information, suggesting a shifting timetable for the first phase of utility work and potentially a much longer stretch for all three phases.

Though the ESDC is often willing to answer questions I've posed, in this case, I haven't gotten answers yet.

Three months at the start

In the first Construction Update mentioning utility work, issued for weeks beginning November 5, 2007 and November 11, 2007, the timetable was three months:
Utility Work: The first of three phases of upgraded water and sewer installations will begin in this two week period and is expected to be underway for three months.


Extended by at least one month

Two weeks later, in the Construction Update issued for weeks beginning November 19, 2007 and November 26, the timetable was extended by at least one month:
The first of three phases of upgraded water and sewer installations will be underway in this two week period and is expected to be underway for four to six months.


Now 14 months

Some two months later, in the Construction Update issued for weeks beginning January 28, 2008 and February 4, 2008, the first phase had been extended to the end of the year, for a total of some 14 months:
Utility Work: The first of three phases of upgraded water and sewer installations is underway and is expected to continue through the end of the year. Work will continue on Dean Street between Flatbush and Sixth Avenues and on Sixth between Pacific and Dean Streets.


Questions for the ESDC

I asked the ESDC for the explanation for the initial announcement of a shorter period and the significant revision in the expected length of time.

I also asked how long the full three phases are expected to take. Are the second and third phases not “major in-street utility work” as described in the FEIS? What do the second and third phases consist of?

Mitigations available?

I also asked whether, given that the (overall) utility work seems to be going on longer than anticipated, there are any additional potential mitigations for the impact on those living in/near the project footprint.

Private utility work

Recently, the construction updates have included mention of Private Utility Work (ConEd, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Keyspan). I asked how long such Private Utility Work is expected to go on.

Still waiting

My questions are still pending. They're obvious questions raised by public documents, and they deserve answers.

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