Today’s news:

MTA to pay for rusty mess

MTA Bridges and Tunnels is fessing up, and has said it’s willing to pay up, too.

The agency – contacted by this newspaper regarding rusty water falling from the access ramp of the Verrazano Bridge onto the parking lot of the Fort Hamilton Senior Center below – has told this paper that the senior center simply needs to file a claim with them to be paid for damage to its vehicle, which has rust streaks all over from being parked in the lot.

Noted Joyce Mulvaney, an agency spokesperson, “We’ll be happy to pay for damage to the van. We believe the rusty water that stained the senior center’s van may indeed have come from the 50-year-old expansion joints on the ramp above.

“It’s natural corrosion and does not pose a threat to the roadway’s integrity,” explained Mulvaney, who had shown photos provided by this newspaper to agency engineers. “So, the ramps will most likely not be rehabilitated in the immediate future, but rather under the next capital plan (2010-2014), at which point the joints will be replaced and new seals installed, among other fixes. For now, we advise the staff not to park in line with the columns on a regular basis to avoid long-term exposure to rusty drips when it rains.

“In the meantime, I will need to speak with the senior center management so I can instruct them on how to file a claim with our agency for damages,” Mulvaney concluded.

The issue came up during a candidate’s forum held at the senior center, 9941 Fort Hamilton Parkway, held earlier this month.

At that event, Lynn McEvoy, the center’s director, had asked the assembled candidates what could be done about the problem which, she said, had impacted the center for several years.

“Our cars and our buses in the parking lot are getting constantly stained,” McEvoy told the candidates. “The senior center bus is absolutely destroyed from being parked under that bridge.”

In addition, said McEvoy, the parking lot itself has been damaged by the rust. “The rust coming off the bridge has rotted away the parking lot,” she contended. “They come and they fill a hole in the parking lot, but we need a new parking lot. It’s a danger not only to myself but to my members.”

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