The city apologized to Greenpoint — through The Brooklyn Paper — saying bureaucrats were to blame for delaying the opening of a waterfront park for nearly two years.
Workers nearly completed constructing the open space with four benches and stunning views at the northernmost tip of Manhattan Avenue in the summer of 2007, but they installed a railing at the cusp of the Newtown Creek that wasn’t up to specifications for a dead-end roadway, Department of Design and Construction Assistant Commissioner Matthew Monahan told The Brooklyn Paper.
“We apologize,” Monahan said. “We understand the frustration. It is a small project that is a large priority of ours.”
The agency is still in the process of replacing the railing with a sturdier balustrade that will “meet a higher standard” — but until that task and other odd jobs are completed, the seemingly finished park will remain a construction site.
Monahan wasn’t the only city official to admit that the unfinished park — which is cordoned off with caution tape and “No Trespassing” signs — has run long overdue.
Internal Parks Department e-mails obtained by The Brooklyn Paper revealed that the city agency deemed the park behind schedule as early as last spring.
“This project truly has been dragging on way too long,” a Parks official wrote on May 1 — May 1, 2008, mind you.
“The latest word we’ve gotten is that they hope to have this done by June/July.”
But that deadline came and went, and with it another summer without precious access to the tiny park that was promised to North Brooklyn residents as a concession to the controversial 2005 upzoning of neighborhood’s waterfront.
And as another summer approaches, Greenpointers are irate that their almost finished park is still off limits.
“It would have been really great to have it open last summer, and it would be really great to have it open this summer,” said Amy Cleary, a spokeswoman for state Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-Greenpoint). “This has gone on way too long.”
Neighborhood blogger Miss Heather has been documenting the nearly finished park since at least October of 2007 — and has grown pessimistic that it will ever be opened to the public.
“I’ll believe this park’s for real when my ass is firmly planted on one of those futuristic park benches!” she wrote last week.
But officials promised that the park would open soon.
“Our expectation is [that it will open] during the spring,” said Monahan, who noted that workers still need to install a stairway allowing kayak access and other small improvements before wrapping up the project.
“The people in the area will have a beautiful amenity — well deserved and overdue. But it will just be a little longer.”