Today’s news:

86th Street ‘disaster’ - Sewer main project causes headaches

The replacement of water mains and sewers along 86th Street has been long-awaited in the community as an essential project.

However, now that it’s here, it appears to be creating problems for local residents, who have been complaining vociferously about the loss of parking spaces as the contractor doing the work takes up curbside space with equipment and materials.

At the April meeting of Community Board 10, District Manager Josephine Beckmann reported that the city had agreed to suspend alternate side parking regulations along Shore Road, between 82nd and 88th streets, for two months, in response to the numerous complaints. Besides residents, teachers at Fort Hamilton High School had also complained about the situation, Beckmann said.

Calling it “our favorite project in the district, aka disaster,” Beckmann told her listeners, “The loss of parking spaces certainly has had an impact during construction.”

In particular, Beckmann said, parking spaces were being lost to “long-term storage of material.” To minimize that, she told the group, the contractor had been asked by the board to utilize another location for long-term storage, bringing the material to the work site as it is needed.

To make sure that garbage doesn’t build up along the roadway during the time that alternate side parking is suspended, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation will pitch in along the park, and the contractor will clean up on the other side of the street, Beckmann said.

Besides letting the city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) know about the issue, Beckmann also said she had, “Relayed complaints to the contractor about the consolidation of the storage of supplies in order to restore on-street parking spaces.”

Overall, the $26.8 million project involves the replacement of water mains and sewers from Shore Road to Gatling Place along 86th Street. In addition, the project includes new curbs and sidewalks, roadway and street lighting, as well as the planting of 66 new trees within the project area, according to a newsletter provided by DDC.

Approximately 19.75 percent of the work had been completed by February, 2008. The anticipated completion date for the project is May, 2009.

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