Bay Ridge construction

Water main project stirs fears from park goers

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The city’s plan to install a new water main between Brooklyn and Staten Island is going to destroy sections of Shore Road Park, say Bay Ridgeites who want the city to treat their beloved greenspace with kid gloves.

The installation of a new trans-Narrow’s pipeline, called a siphon, is part of a larger project to dredge up New York Harbor to accommodate larger ships and bury a pipeline deeper into the ground — a project that has already had a major impact on portions of far-off Staten Island.

Contractors have already completely blocked off a swath of Shore Road Park between 83rd Street and Shore Road Lane and have started digging — and Shore Road Park-goers say they’re not happy with what they see.

“I think it’s very frustrating,” said Michael Kay, who goes to the park daily. “It seems like it’s ongoing and there’s no end in sight.”

Yet the city promises that Bay Ridgites won’t see anything like the damage done on The Rock.

“The footprint of the work area is much smaller than on the Staten Island side, limiting its impact on the park,” a spokesman for the city’s Department of Environmental Protection said.

The spokesman added that the city has already taken steps to divert visitors away from the excavation area.

“We have constructed two temporary paths, one at the north end and one at the south end of the worksite, so park-users can walk around the site via the existing sidewalk, and re-enter the park on the other side of the worksite,” the spokesman said.

Yet motorists will be feeling the project’s impact soon. Parking spots on the east side of Shore Road between 83rd and 84th Street will disappear in July as the city starts replacing water mains that run under the sidewalk and street.

Kay says he doubts the dredging project will help Brooklyn at all.

“My main concern is that it’s deteriorating the condition of the park and it’s blocking access to the whole other side of the park,” he said.

Other park-lovers, while angry, said construction work at the park was inevitable.

“It’s a problem for park users, but it must be done. You cannot say anything against it,” said Oleg Hravovsky, who walks in the park three to four times a week. “New York City is very old, so to do something new is important.”

Park-goers are going to have to get used to the disruption: the city says the water main work won’t be done till next year.

Updated 5:51 am, May 10, 2012
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Reasonable discourse

Paul A. Toomey from Bay Ridge/Ft. Hamilton says:
The water main is a necessity. The infrastructure of the city must be updated-replaced if the city is to survive. That is a fact! But, The people of the area have a right to expect the job to be done with minimal disruption. The park/walk areas should be restored as they were. Paving blocks to be stored & replaced, not just a concrete covering, benches and fencing to be matched when replaced and replanting of any grassy areas, shrubbery and trees. We must demand that the neighborhood retain its identity. We don't want Bay Ridge/Fort Hamilton start to look like parts of Queens.
May 10, 2012, 11:27 am

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