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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Here We Go Again, Intermittent Roosevelt Island Bridge Closings This Week During 2019 United Nations General Assembly Session, East River West Channel Closed To Boat Traffic - Will Emergency Vehicles Be Delayed To Roosevelt Island For Convenience Of Recreational Boaters?

It's that time of year again for Roosevelt Island.

Mid September is the the opening of the United Nations General Assembly Session and 2019 is no different than previous years in terms of its impact on Roosevelt Island residents. The opening of the UN General Assembly means the diversion of all East River boat traffic to the Roosevelt Island East Channel Queens side for security precautions due to our proximity to the United Nations resulting in the intermittent closings of the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

According to the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT)
While the United Nations General Assembly is in session, from Sunday, September 22, through Saturday, September 28, the U.S. Coast Guard will close the West Channel of the East River, which is the main navigational channel, and divert all marine traffic to the East Channel, between Roosevelt Island and Queens. The NYC Department of Transportation will close the Roosevelt Island Bridge, as needed, for up to 15 minutes at a time between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. to permit marine traffic to pass.

During these closures, the bridge will be closed to all vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic. A variable message sign will be installed to inform the public. Emergency service providers have been informed of the special operational schedule.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
The U.N. General Assembly will be in session from September 22, 2019 - September 28, 2019. The RI Bridge will open on demand from 6:00AM - 8:00PM. Please be advised that each opening should take anywhere from eight (8) to twelve (12) minutes to be completed. If you have any questions, please contact PSD at 212-832-4545.
NYC Ferry reports:
Service Alert – United Nations General Assembly – (9/22 – 9/27)

Due to the United Nations General Assembly, extra security restrictions on the East River may cause delays and/or cancellations on the Astoria, Soundview, East River, and the Lower East Side routes from September 22 – 27, 2019.
In response to the annual concerns by Roosevelt Island residents about the potential for emergency vehicle delays caused by the intermittent Bridge closings during UN General Assembly Week, RIOC advised in 2017:
During the last year, RIOC has been working with the NYC Office of Emergency Management and key representatives from FDNY, NYPD, NYC DOT Division of Bridges, NYC DEP, Health and Hospitals Corporation and Con Ed, to explore alternative emergency response options concerning the bridge during both the UN General Assembly and other situations where the bridge may get stuck or fail for any reason. By pre-staging emergency response vehicles and equipment, we are better prepared to respond to medical emergencies on Roosevelt Island. Furthermore, Con Ed has already pre-staged emergency gas and electric equipment on the Island in the event a gas or electric emergency were to take place and Con Ed trucks were unable to reach the Island due to a bridge malfunction.

During the UN General Assembly, and under the newly created Interagency Roosevelt Island Bridge Lift Protocol, the aforementioned City Agencies are responsible for the following:

Organize pre-event interagency conference call with Public Safety Agencies

Pre-Stage one Engine Company, one Ladder Company, and one BLS (Basic Life Support) Ambulance on Roosevelt Island. Alert Battalion 45 and Battalion 49 companies of Bridge Lifts.

Assign resources as appropriate on Roosevelt Island

Stage bridge oiler crew near bridge structure
Stage bridge electric crew near bridge structure

Pre-staged water maintenance equipment available at an on-island DEP Facility

Consolidated Edison
Emergency gas and electric equipment pre-staged on Roosevelt Island Gas and electric emergency personnel will deploy to Roosevelt Island via Tramway or Subway as necessary

Health and Hospitals Corporation
Standard resource deployment

RIOC and its Public Safety Department thank all of these agencies for working together to develop these first steps toward a stronger emergency plan....
Will check to see if these procedures are in effect for 2019.