Friday, June 13, 2014

A giant waste of time and money

From the Queens Chronicle:

Residents and business owners who have been waiting since 2010 for the reopening of the 149th Street bridge between Roosevelt and 41st avenues in Murray Hill still have a long wait ahead of them, according to elected officials, who announced last week that shoddy workmanship is forcing the city to demolish the structure and start over.

Among those meeting behind closed doors at Queens Borough Hall last Friday were state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing), Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and New York City DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Dalila Hall. The elected officials then held a press conference outside.

Stavisky reported that about a dozen representatives from the city, including those involved in the legal and engineering aspects of the project, were also there.

The bridge, which was originally built in 1924, runs over the Long Island Rail Road tracks. It was considered “in fair condition” when it was inspected in 2007 and, three years later, in March 2010, was closed for reconstruction. It was expected to reopen in May 2012.

Pointing to a photograph of the barricades on the bridge, Kim said, “Every time I see this, I get frustrated,” blaming “bureaucratic failure” for the multiple delays.

In May 2012, the bridge, which cost around $7 million, was inspected by the Department of Transportation, that found cracks making it unsafe to carry vehicles. The pedestrian sidewalk was reopened in June of that year.

According to Kim, it was determined that there is a “need to demolish and rebuild” the bridge. The project is in the “re-design” phase, to be followed by the bidding process.

The city is suing the contractor, Gandhi Engineering.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't the bridge fine, just not for cars to drive on it? Not every street has to be a through street for cars, maybe it's best just to leave it the way it is.

Queens Crapper said...

When you have a bridge over a railroad, then it needs to be a through street for cars.

Cav said...

@anon#1
It isn't a matter of whether the bridge is fine for pedestrians or vehicular traffic to cross it. The issues are the amount of public money wasted on the project and the failure of city officials to provide proper oversight of the project during the original construction.

Don Cavaioli

Charles Gallo said...

It was the major thru street for the area, next major ones are 162nd and union. Murrey st does cross, but because it ends right past the bridge, and it's width has never been major, ditto the underpass at 158

Anonymous said...

No date for a follow-up announced...So it's just a photo-op for Kim, who is running for re-election.

Anonymous said...

When you have a bridge that is in such bad shape as this bridge is (Due to poor construction/engineering) cause for concern comes from the trains passing beneath it. Vibrations could possibly cause the bridge to collapse.

georgetheatheist said...

Speaking of photo-ops, I just love Stavisky's Eisenhower jacket. (Tres chic, n'est-ce pas?)

Anonymous said...

Where have they said it might fall from vibrations?

Every other street is a through street, it doesn't harm the network more than minimally if one isn't.

Why does every bridge over a railroad need to be a through street for cars? The next closest through street for cars over that railroad is 330 feet away. Why'd the city have to waste money building another bridge when we already have so many. We have a chance to get the money back now, and not waste it again. Let's take it.

Anonymous said...

For a moment there, before I read the story. I thought the headline referred to Stavisky...

Queens Crapper said...

149th Street is a major road. Ambulances and trucks use it. The bridge needs to be replaced.

Anonymous said...

Even before the old bridge was taken down it wasn't a truck route, and trucks with overweight permits weren't even allowed over the bridge going back years.

149 is a residential street. It doesn't have many businesses, it doesn't need many trucks for local deliveries. Which trucks were using the street that were supposed to be there? And which of them have had trouble getting where they're supposed to go?

Ambulances? Where are they dispatched from that they need to go over 149?

What I've seen since the bridge came down? Fewer speeding cars racing through my neighborhood. 149 isn't a highway, and locals on the street are not impacted in anyway with the bridge only open for peds. And it saves the city millions. Who loses? The people who want to speed through residential neighborhoods with extreme recklessness just because the highway is crowded. Where's the NYPD on these quality of life issues?

Queens Crapper said...

A street doesn't have to be a truck route for trucks to use it. There's a row of stores that get deliveries on a daily basis near the train station.

Anonymous said...

The stores are on 41st, not 149. 150 is wide enough for trucks, and then going back to Northern they can take 147. Rebuilding this bridge is a waste of money. Nobody needs it.

Anonymous said...

All those stores need less than a car full of materials delivered. They shouldn't even run trucks for that.

Queens Crapper said...

One person in Flushing may believe that. But you are outnumbered.

Anonymous said...

Re: no follow-up date, so it's a photo op:

The date is included in the full story. Crapper doesn't post full stories over copyright concerns. That's what the links are for.

A photo of the bridge itself was on the paper's front page.

http://www.qchron.com/covers/

They even did a little editorial!

http://www.qchron.com/opinion/editorial/bridge-to-nowhere/article_af5414a6-fa6b-5796-94eb-953575bc04d0.html

And to the motor vehicle hater: Sorry, people drive round these parts. Call the precinct for enforcement, complain to the community council, lobby officials for speed bumps, write a letter to the editor of one of the weeklies, but forget about keeping people from driving.

You really want a defective bridge left in place? That doesn't sound like the smartest idea.

Anonymous said...

Anon # 16: The full article does not indicate when the three pols will hold one more "photo-up" outside of Queens Borough Hall, to update us on the status of that bridge and what they have done to push for its completion.

Anonymous said...

Gandhi Engineering?? Who hired those people?