Squabbling city agencies finally agree to move traffic-blocking street-repair equipment

Squabbling city agencies finally agree to move traffic-blocking street-repair equipment
Photo by Steven Schnibbe

Can’t we all just grit along?

City agencies finally put their internal squabbling aside and are allowing the contractors rebuilding Canarsie’s streets to store equipment and materials in an empty city-owned lot — instead of the middle the street where they were before.

The Department of Environmental Protection broke ground on the first leg of its three-phase $56.5 million project this fall to replace miles of sewers in an area bounded by Avenue J, Flatlands Avenue, E. 98th Street, and E. 108th Street. But the contractors had to keep their construction equipment in the middle of E. 108th Street because various city agencies were bickering over whether they could use a publicly-owned lot on Farragut Road and E. 104th Street, according to the area councilman, one of several pols who lobbied the city for a fix.

“It was sort of ridiculous in a way, because it’s city-owned, one would think the city would be supportive — you would think that city agencies working for the same city, work in the interests of the city — they don’t,” said Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Canarsie). “DEP and DEC and HPD and XYZ and all these agencies — they just don’t work together. Finally, they were forced by the administration to allow them to put the facility in that particular lot.”

Maisel, Borough President Adams, Assemblywoman Jaime Williams (D–Canarsie), and state Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D–Canarsie) pressured the city to move the staging site.

Contractors originally intended to keep their gear at Monroe Cohen Field on Seaview Avenue and E. 108th Street, but the Parks Department put the kibosh on that, so they had to do it in the road, Maisel said.

The move is a serious win for local drivers, and the heavy-duty equipment will actually be more secure on the lot, according to Community Board 18 district manager Dottie Turano.

“I’m really glad to announce that the staging operation is being moved to Farragut Road and E. 104th Street, right where there’s that empty lot,” she said. “They installed a fence, they are going to provide 24-7 security.”

The Department of Environmental Preservation will complete work in three different phases — the first is slated to be done in 2018, the second phase will begin in 2018, and the third starts in 2020. All work should wrap up by 2021, according to information from the city.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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