Saturday, December 13, 2008

Carlton Avenue bridge reconstruction not delayed, ESDC tells Courier-Life; FCR remains mum

Now we can relax. An unnamed Empire State Development Corporation spokesman informs the Courier-Life's Stephen Witt, "Forest City Ratner has told us there are no changes in the schedule at this time" to reconstruct and reopen the half-demolished Carlton Avenue bridge.

That's more than I got out of the ESDC, which referred me to the developer. Witt also tried, but FCR "refused comment on the matter."

Given that the bridge was supposed to be closed for two years, while its actual reconstruction would take seven months, it's still possible to meet that timetable, despite Forest City Ratner's indefinite suspension of work at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Vanderbilt Yard.

But "no changes in the schedule at this time" and FCR's unwillingness to comment to a notably sympathetic reporter don't exactly inspire confidence about transparency.

Is litigation the cause?

ESDC spokesman Warner Johnston tells Witt, "Forest City Ratner reports that they have carried the project as far as they can until the outstanding litigation is resolved."

If that were really true, wouldn't the word "complete" have been used in the ESDC's most recent Construction Update regarding the "Long Island Rail Road/Vanderbilt Yard Work"?

And wouldn't Forest City have met one of the three deadlines to open a temporary yard?

2 comments:

  1. If they're still on their timetable while not doing any work at all on the bridge, then their timetable has too much padding in it.

    Aside from the inconvenience, we need to remember that the Dean Street fire house, which has to respond to some fires on the Ft. Greene side of the bridge, has to use another route -- though the "official" FDNY word is that the bridge closing doesn't affect response times. Sure.

    It's nice that the ESDC has enough confidence in Forest City Ratner that they don't question adherence to the timetable, despite the fact that no work is being done while the bridge sits half-demolished. But since one can't get a straight answer out of either the ESDC or Forest City, that's no surprise.

    The public trust has been violated, and that betrayal now lies at the feet of the Paterson administration.

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  2. Oder doesn't mention it, but in the article CB2 district manager Robert Perris "noted that since the bridge was removed the borough fire command has had to reconfigure fire response throughout the area."

    so FDNY may have said it "won't" affect response times, but clearly it has.

    but no matter to Bruce (Upper East Side) or the ESDC (mid-town Manhattan) or Marty (Prospect Park West), Bloomberg (Upper East Side) or Paterson (Albany, Harlem) as this Station House doesn't service their neighborhoods.

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