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News from the (delayed) Construction Update: ramps on Dean Street, demolitions continue, long-term visual mockup of "weathered steel façade panels"

As attention falls off from Atlantic Yards, does the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), the agency in charge of oversight, slack off?

The Atlantic Yards Construction Update--aka two-week look-ahead--dated January 31 (embedded below) was sent out four days late, on February 3.

Why, I asked ESDC spokeswoman Elizabeth Mitchell, who responded February 4, "ESDC attempts to distribute the Construction Updates every other Monday. On rare occasions there are delays if construction issues are still in flux."

Given that the updates come from Forest City Ratner, there's a good chance that the ESDC simply had its hands tied.

What's in flux? Ramps on Dean Street

Apparently plans are changing for some ramps--and the plans have changed more than once. I asked Mitchell about this statement on page 4 of the document:
The excavation for a new, temporary bowl access ramp that opens into Dean Street near intersection with Flatbush will continue during this reporting period. Preparation of a temporary access ramp at the intersection of Dean Street and 6th
Avenue, with curb cut at Dean Street, is projected to start during this period.
In a quick but not comprehensive search, I couldn't find reference to two ramps, just one, on p. 17-16 of the Construction Impacts chapter of the Final Environmental Impact Statement:
As the excavation becomes deeper, a temporary ramp would be built to provide access for the dump trucks to the work site.
Was a second ramp added? Or had it been described/disclosed elsewhere and I missed it?

Mitchell didn't fully answer:
The location of the second ramp has changed since the last Construction Update was distributed. There will be a ramp on Dean Street in the middle of the block that will be constructed in the next couple of weeks and remain in use through May 2011. A second ramp will be constructed around May 2011 at the intersection of 6th and Pacific Street and remain active through March 2012.
That suggests issues are in very much in flux, since the description she gave Friday, February 4 updated a document sent out the day before.

Demolition continues

Despite attempts in court by community coalitions to stall demolition on Block 1129, the block destined for interim surface parking, FCR continues to demolish buildings it owns. (Click on graphic to enlarge.)

Demolition has been completed on 810 and 812 Pacific and 540 Vanderbilt, while applications have been submitted to the Department of Buildings for 808 Pacific and 514 Vanderbilt
Avenue and are in the review process.

Abatement is complete at 768 Pacific Street and is expected to be completed at 603 Dean Street
during this reporting period. Roofing abatement was delayed due to snow cover.

Also, demolition of the former gasoline station at the corner of Vanderbilt Ave and Atlantic Ave, block 1121, lot 42, may begin, if permits are received.

Steel facade panels mock-up

Also coming, according to the Construction Update:
The excavation and concrete footing placement for a long term but temporary visual mock-up of the weathered steel façade panels is expected to begin this period in the northwest parking lot of Lot 1129 (752 Pacific Street). The mock-up panel delivery and placement of the footing is expected to be completed in the next reporting period.
What's the purpose? Mitchell responded:
The mock-up of the weathered steel façade panels will be used as a teaching tool to ensure proper installation of the arena façade.



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