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Friday, February 9, 2018

Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market Temporarily Moving To Good Shepherd Plaza Starting February 17 During 4 Month $3.1 Million RI Bridge Helix Ramp Repairs

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) will begin repair of the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix Ramp

starting February 15 resulting in use of one ramp traffic lane 

 and temporary relocation of the Saturday morning Farmers Market

 to Good Shepherd Plaza.

According to RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson:
The $3.1 million Helix ramp and flat plaza repair job that’s starting Thursday, Feb. 15 will trigger at least two other major impacts on Roosevelt Island during the 120 days of construction.

The deteriorating 40-year-old structure, a high-traffic spiral road which connects the Island to the Roosevelt Island Bridge to Queens (at Vernon Boulevard and 36th Avenue), handles all incoming and outgoing car, truck and school bus traffic. As to be expected, the repair will slow traffic pace as vehicles will be restricted to one lane of use while the adjacent lane is repaired. Motorists are encouraged to plan for increased travel times in both directions.

The repair – which is part of a $33 million capital improvement program for the Island this fiscal year - is also forcing the relocation of the long-standing Farmers Market from the Helix Plaza to Good Shephard Plaza, 541 Main Street, beginning next Saturday, February 17. Vendors at the popular Saturday market, a long-time Island staple run by the PS/IS 217 Parent Teachers Association, will be given a walkthrough this set-up Saturday to familiarize themselves with the new open space, truck parking locations, electrical outlets and other logistics.

(The current proposed plan is to allow vendor vehicles to enter along the north side of the Good Shepard Chapel and park on the west side. Their tents and tables will be set up in the plaza along the north side of the chapel. Vehicles will exit along the south side once the market closes).

Roosevelt Island construction contractors and businesses employing delivery truck drivers also have been notified of vehicle length and load restrictions during the Helix repair. Large and oversize vehicles are now required to notify the Island’s Department of Public Safety, 212.832.4545, at least 48 hours in advance and to request an escort onto and off the Island as needed between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. only.

The Helix repair job - which includes waterproofing, concreate patch infill, rebar splicing, road resurfacing and railing replacements - is being completed by Specialty Construction Systems Inc., a structural engineering firm based in Mount Vernon, N.Y. and is the same firm that is contracted to resume and complete the Roosevelt Island Tram platform repairs this spring. Other local projects, the company has previously completed include structural repair work on the Lincoln Center west garage and tunnel, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Pier 40 at Hudson River Park’s parking garage and sports facility.
As previously reported, the Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 PTA has been the long time operator of the Farmers Market, using fees from the market vendors for their programs and services. In April 2017, RIOC issued the PTA a no fee permit, terminable at any time by RIOC, to operate the Farmers Market. Prior to April 2017,  the PTA operated the Farmers Market, on RIOC property, without any agreement from RIOC for use of the area.

Recently, another group expressed interest in operating a Roosevelt Island Green Market. The subject was discussed during November 30 RIOC Operations Advisory Committee.