In the toilet: A city plan to build a bathroom in Canarsie Park suffers yearlong delay

In the toilet: A city plan to build a bathroom in Canarsie Park suffers yearlong delay
Parks Department

A city plan to build a bathroom in Canarsie Park has come to a stand still, with National Grid refusing to connect the loo to gas and the city warring with its contractor over who’s to blame for a months-long delay that’s forcing locals to whizz in the bushes.

“There is no bathroom on that side of the park at all,” said Marc Want, head of the Canarsie Improvement Association. “We are having literally crowds of people using the park for parties and people end up going into the bushes. It is just disgusting.”

The city was scheduled to begin construction of a $3.6 million comfort station in Canarsie’s namesake park back in April, but Brooklyn’s only natural-gas provider placed a moratorium on new customers — including the city — in May, shortly after state regulators killed the utility company’s scheme to construct a 23-mile-long pipeline off the coast of Coney Island, according to a local civic guru.

“The bathrooms that they are building at Canarsie Park couldn’t be built because National Grid was not supplying any more gas lines,” Dorothy Turano explained at an Oct. 16 Community Board 18 meeting. “So they had to go back to the drawing board and get plans for an electric bathroom.”

In the face of National Grid’s strong-arm tactics, the city choose to redraft designs for its bathroom to include an electric heating system, but as of now the project remains on an indefinite hold, according to a spokeswoman for the Parks Department.

“Right now, we don’t have an updated timeline for the project,” said Parks Department spokeswoman Anessa Hodgson.

Hodgson blamed the holdup on New York Construction and Renovation Inc., the general contractor in charge of the project, saying officials are considering whether to hold the company in default.

But a rep for the construction company claimed the city that Parks officials are causing the delay by failing to communicate and leaving the workers to twiddle their thumbs.

“We have asked two or three times when we can start the job,”,” said an office manager at New York Construction and Renovation Inc., who gave his name as Assad. “We have asked ‘please let us know when to start the job,’ but we haven’t heard anything.”

Meanwhile, the year’s building season is nearing its wintery end, and work is unlikely to begin on the project until next spring, meaning the originally September 2020 opening may be pushed back by a year, or longer.

Reach reporter Jessica Parks at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jparks@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @_JessicaParks.