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Greenpoint ferry-dock repair down to the wire as G cutoff looms • Brooklyn Paper

Greenpoint ferry-dock repair down to the wire as G cutoff looms

Pier none: The East River Ferry pier at India Street went hurtling into the drink on Feb. 13.
Photo by Jason Speakman

The G train’s Queens tunnel closure starts on Saturday and Greenpoint residents and a pol are freaking out about the fact that neighborhood ferry service still has not been restored.

The city said earlier this month that the India Street pier would be repaired by the time G service ends for five weeks while crews repair Hurricane Sandy damage to the tube under Newtown Creek, but work on the dock that collapsed into the East River in February is still not done and Greenpointers are feeling the transit squeeze.

“Our options are getting a bit scarce,” said Kendall Kipnas, who lives near the Nassau Avenue stop and usually takes the G into Queens to catch the 7 to work in Manhattan. “This might be pretty miserable.”

One local elected official said he is waiting for the ferry to resume service just like everyone else.

“With the G train outage two days away, anything less than full service before the outage is unacceptable,” said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Greenpoint). “The ferry has become a part of Greenpointers’ and northern Brooklynites’ daily life, and it must be treated as such, especially with the outage looming.”

Squadron added that he wants answers about the near-calamity that plunged the floating portion of the dock into the icy East River water on Feb. 13, moments after commuters traversed it.

“We need safety assurances, including an explanation on what happened in February,” he said.

At the time, the ferry operator Billybey said it regularly inspects the parts of the pier that are above the water, but that no one had been looking below the surface of the river.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation, which oversees operation of the ferry service, refused to turn over copies of the inspection records.

The ferry company now says the problem lies with the dock’s owner and that it is ready to start dropping passengers off as soon as the dock reopens.

“We are ready to go the minute they give us the green light,” said Billybey marketing executive Paul Samulski. “We are just sitting back and waiting.”

The pier owner, RedSky Capital, did not return repeated calls for comment.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Ready for outrage: State Sen. Daniel Squadron is prepared to inveigh against the ferry's overseers further if the Greenpoint pier is not operational by Saturday.
Daniel Squadron

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