Friday, May 21, 2010

Lack Of NYC Construction Crane Permits Delay Roosevelt Island Tram Work - Increasing Skepticism Tram Will Resume Service By Scheduled September Date

You Tube Video of Time Lapse Crane On NY Pier

Uh Oh - is it time to start being concerned that the Roosevelt Island Tram may be out of service longer than scheduled and not be ready to resume daily Tram service operations over the East River as promised for late August/Early September?

It appears that the Tram Modernization Program contractor Poma, which has little or no experience on New York City projects but is relying on others to guide it through the inner workings of local construction logistics, is having dificulty securing the required crane mobilization permits in a timely manner.

Here's why Roosevelt Island residents may need to get worried that the Tram will not be ready as originally promised. Yesterday, in preparation for a post on this weekend's scheduled Queensboro Bridge and Second Avenue/surrounding streets lane closures due to work on the Tram, I asked RIOC President Steve Shane:
...wanted to check that the RIOC advisories regarding lane closures for Queensboro Bridge and surrounding streets scheduled to begin this weekend are going forward and not changed before I post them on blog.
Mr. Shane replied:
The advisory for lane closures is rescinded as the work on 60th street has been postponed due to the continuing difficulties of POMA (and others) in obtaining crane mobilization permits in Manhattan.
I followed up with:
As of now, do the problems obtaining crane permits delay the resumption of Tram service from the scheduled late August/Early September date?

If not, at what point will the failure to obtain crane permits result in pushing back the scheduled start of Tram service?

Also, is POMA contractually penalized if they fail to deliver Tram Service by the Early September date if that failure was caused by the non- timely issuance of crane permits by the City or other appropriate governmental bodies?
and Mr. Shane responded:
POMA continues to state that the delay can be overcome. I grow increasingly skeptical. We push every day and are staying on top of the situation, but the work other than on the towers goes on. When it is on the critical path to ultimately delay delivery becomes a matter of judgment as to whether, when and where the effort and resources will be committed to make up the lost time.

POMA is contractually obligated to deliver the system and would be penalized with daily penalties as liquidated damages for late delivery in accordance with the terms of the contract. POMA would likely take a legal position to argue force majeure, but without an official embargo from the City, RIOC would obviously dispute their claim. So it goes in the construction business. We continue to push POMA and at the same time, try to assist with the City agencies having jurisdiction. Much bigger issue Citywide than RIOC"s & POMA's problem at both ends of the Tram. In everyone's best interest to get the project done as quickly as possible.
If Mr. Shane is becoming "increasingly skeptical", I am deeply worried that Roosevelt Island residents may have to wait much longer than the planned 6 months for the Roosevelt Island Tram to return to service.

Mr. Shane also addressed the Tram issue as it relates to cranes and weight restrictions on the Roosevelt Island Bridge in his most recent RIOC President's Report: Tram (Item 2):
At this writing, twelve weeks after shutdown, POMA advises that construction is still on schedule for reopening by September 1, although the City’s stricter enforcement of weight restrictions on bridges as applied to crane mobilization has resulted in some delay. The Contractor is working on alternatives. Station work proceeds apace at both ends. RIOC has engaged BL Companies to do some preliminary architectural design for work on the two stations after the system is back in operation. There will be a community presentation for reaction and comment as we go forward.
Let's hope and do all we can that these invisible ghost spirit people are not the only Roosevelt Island residents using the Tram come this September.
Design Image of RI Tram Station From RIOC and BL Companies

More on Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization Program from RIOC.


Anonymous said...

Two things:

a) Why would anybody be "deeply worried" in case we have to wait a little longer for the tram to go back in service? Have there been any problems with using the train instead that I don't know about?

b) Anybody who thinks that when a contractor says he gets it done in x months he actually means it is hopelessly optimistic. I am expecting the tram to be out for another six months once the September deadline comes around. Who knows how much even longer if the RIOC and POMA start suing each other.

Anonymous said...

Why did RIOC delay the station modifications and budgeting thereof, so work cannot be done concurrently with the work on the tram?

Last year one of the reasons the commencement of the tram modifi-cation was delayed until spring in was in consideration of weather conditions. Now what?

Anonymous said...

If Anonymous followed what I stated publicly, we delayed the work on station modification until we had a clearer picture of schedule and cost for the most important element of the project, namely the Tram operation. To the extent that doing work during POMA's efforts on the tram itself would result in delay claims and cost overruns, after trying to work it out, we abandoned the effort with POMA to have a clear shot at restoration of service, with beautification, of lesser importance in my view, to follow.
Steve Shane

Anonymous said...

I remember Mr Shane's view that restoration of the Tram service
is more important than beautification" of the stations.

However, we are close to halfway thru the Tram construction period
and should have a fairly good idea of cost overruns, if any, by now.

Questions were raised about the elevator and the toilets and the impact on the budget but seem to have been placed completely in abeyance.

Planning and budgetting of the terminal modifications will not cause cost overruns or interfere with POMAs work

Anonymous said...

What else is new- does anything re. the Tram get done on time-not usually.

I have been here 28 years.

I was at a RIOC Meeting when a Board Member flat out asked them if they had the correct permits for the Cranes and with NYC and they didn't answer.

Be prepared to wait and wait.

Yes, we do have some problems with the F Train, etc.

This Island is now a Mess- than you NYS and RIOC.

Also the older part of Main Street is a total mess-where is all the money going?!!!!

WE in the WIRE buildings deserve some decent stores and getting rid of all the empty storefronts.

The Liquor store has now been empty for over 3 mos. now.

The Bakery and Pizzeria gone for years.

This Island is ruined forever.

Disgusted long term Resident

Anonymous said...

"Yes, we do have some problems with the F Train, etc."

What ongoing problem do we have with the train? Yes, once in a while there is a hiccup in the system and we have 10-20 minutes w/o train service and another 10-20 minutes with more or less unusable train service due to crowding. That happens, what, once a month at most?

If that happens, instead of waiting forever you could catch a Queens-bound train and switch to one of the many lines at Roosevelt Ave. It'll take 10-15 minutes of additional commute time at most.

"WE in the WIRE buildings deserve some decent stores and getting rid of all the empty storefronts."

For some reason I read this as the market priced housing renters do not deserve it as much as the WIRE building tenants. That sentiment is going to do zip, zilch, nada.

While the retail spaces need to get attention rather pronto (it looks like there has been progress in this regard) everything else on this island is better now than it ever had been before.

Oh, and since this seems to be important to this discussion, I have been on this island for more than 15 years now.

Anonymous said...

".....instead of waiting forever you could catch a Queens-bound train and switch to one of the many lines at Roosevelt Ave. It'll take 10-15 minutes of additional commute time at most".

Does the writer really think his 10-15 minutes at most applies to our elderlies and handicapped.

Anonymous said...

Elderlies, of course. Sounds like you don't want give them enough credit to be able to navigate the subway system. The disabled can always take the MTA bus and switch to a train. It will add to the commute time, understood, but it is a once in a while event.

Anonymous said...

Seems like every subject on this Blog ends right back on the topic of Empty Storefronts.

Instead of waisting your time crying over the empty storefronts, go to a RIOC Board Meeting and speak up to the Board Member who is in charge of this, Jonathan Kalkin.

Anonymous said...

I am the long term 28 year resident, and I meant the empty storefronts on the older part of Main St. affects everybody, not just the Wire buildings.

That said, we, the WIRE buildings have been without these services for awhile now.

I live in WV.

Not sure where you live for the past 15 years.

There are major problems on this Island and they have not improved.

I have also been to alot of RIOC meeting about everything, including the empty storefronts.

You may want to read a few posts back a a few days ago, RIOC may not be in charge of the storefronts anymore, it maybe another firm, I believe, LaSalle Jones.

This island has been my home since July of 1982, I know quite a bit about what is going on here.

I go to meeting, I served in my Building, etc.