Tuesday, August 14, 2018

NYC Environmental Protection Dep't Fences Off Roosevelt Island Octagon Park BBQ Pits And Picnic Tables For Water Tunnel Emergency Access Road Months Ago - Construction Delays Frustrate Residents And RIOC Alike - What's The Problem?

A Roosevelt Island Octagon Building resident asked when the NYC Department of Environmental Protection

access road project

will be completed:
Can you by chance let us know when this construction will take place?

It’s by the Octagon by the bbq pits. It was supposed to be an access road. We cannot get any info from the building or RIOC. There are no signs. No permits, nothing. Work was supposed to be complete by May...
Another Octagon resident added:
... 50% of those nice new BBQs and Picnic tables in the Octagon Park are getting removed (supposedly relocated) to make way for an “emergency access road” to the Water Tunnel facility.

A lot of parents and residents up here are concerned.... There is no timeline for how long the large fence and paved road will be there. According to a supervisor on-site, the road will be permanent. Kinda shocking that a huge portion of park area where all residents from the island (and off-island) enjoy picnicking/BBQ-ing is being permanently removed for an emergency access road, especially when the facility is already accessible via paved roads....
I asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) about the status of project. RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson replied yesterday:
“We are just as frustrated as the community is with the lack of progress on this access road project being handled by the City’s Department of Environmental Protection.

The road’s construction – which is to be grass paved and blend with the existing Octagon building campus and be used for emergency responses only – started April 23 and was expected to be complete by June.

Several trees adjacent to the Octagon, some picnic tables and barbecue grills, along with the iconic Sabrina statue were to be replaced and or relocated nearby to clear space.

We have reached out to NYC Councilmember Ben Kallos for help in getting a project update. Our General Counsel informed me this morning that we should expect additional information this week about when the project is expected to restart and be finished.

I will share that information with the community as soon as that happens.”
Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Ben Kallos' office reported that they are looking into the matter.

Below is the NYC DEP announcement of the access road project
What Is Happening Here?

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be performing construction for an emergency access road to the DEP Roosevelt Island site that will be used for emergency responses only. The road will be grass paved and is intended to blend with the existing Octagon building campus. This work is in conjunction with City Water Tunnel No. 3.

When Will Work Take Place?

Work is anticipated from April 23, 2018 to early June 2018. Work hours are Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

What Is the Anticipated Community Impact?

DEP will be working closely with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, as several trees adjacent to the Octagon, as well as some picnic area furniture (tables and barbecues) will be relocated or replaced nearby to clear space for the additional access road. The Sabrina Statue will be cautiously moved out of the access road path.

What will be the protection?

Chain link fence with privacy screening will be installed around the access road work, for public safety. Clear signage will be placed along the fencing, providing construction information and any pedestrian detour direction.

Will update when more info available.

UPDATE 4:55 PM - RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson adds:
We just received word that city DEP is confirmed to start construction the first week of September.

They did not send an anticipated completion date.