Thursday, June 3, 2010

RI Bridge Weight Restictions For Cranes Cited By POMA As Reason For One Month Delay In Roosevelt Island Tram's Return To Service

You Tube Video of Nighttime Tram Ride With Charlie Parker & Miles Davis

Roosevelt Island residents and everyone else wishing to ride the Roosevelt Island Tram, with or without Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, will have to wait longer than originally planned and promised for the Tram to return to service.

As reported in yesterday's post, the return of the Roosevelt Island Tram to service, originally scheduled for late August/early September, has been delayed to at least October 1. According to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. President Steve Shane:
Tram: At this writing, fourteen weeks after shutdown, POMA advises that the schedule for reopening has fallen behind by about a month to October 1. The City’s stricter enforcement of weight restrictions on bridges as applied to crane mobilization is being blamed for the delay. The Contractor is working on alternatives. Station work proceeds apace at both ends. A crane is to be delivered by barge on June 2. Work will proceed to replace the top of the Island tower and then, presumably on to Manhattan. Preliminary architectural design for station improvements continues. There will be a community presentation for reaction, comment and decisions about trade-offs.
Crane Being Assembled Today

Yesterday, I asked Mr. Shane:
If there were problems securing a permit to carry the crane over bridge due to weight restrictions, why did POMA wait until today to bring it on RI by barge?
Mr. Shane replied:
I don't know, but availability of the barge and the crane were very big logistical problems. The problems with the bridges only became an issue within the last month. The barging option is very expensive. You should have been there to see it.
As recently as last May 21 I asked Mr. Shane if the Tram Modernization Project will be able to meet it's September 1 scheduled opening date. Mr. Shane replied:
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.
Last February 25 , Mr. Shane wrote in his RIOC column (Item 2) that all permits were secured before the Tram was taken out of service:
Tram:A. On schedule for shutdown after this Sunday on Monday morning, March 1 at 2 AM (3 Days!!!) and reopening by September 1, 2010. The plans for crane usage, street closings (including the upper ramp of the Queensboro Bridge), permitted times, traffic control and safety precautions, all as submitted to the Departments of Buildings and Traffic have been reviewed and permits were issued this week.
The fear of many Tram users was expressed in this Paul Sahner Tweet:
The Roosevelt Island Tram's estimated date of completion has been pushed back a month. Thus the slippery slope begins.
but no sympathy from Fake MTA's Tweet:
Can't you Roosevelt Island weirdos hang-glide or jet-pack over, or something? Get serious!
Apparently Fake MTA was not aware of RIOC's secret paragliding plan to temporarily replace the Tram.


Anonymous said...

Is it not correct that the delays were not caused by any change in the existing regulations but by their enforcement ?

Anonymous said...

That is my understanding as well.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully POMA were not misleaad back in February about all appro-vals being in order in which case they can probably declare force majeure and avoid any penalty for the delay;and maybe even claim reimbursement of the extra expenses

Anonymous said...

Are the weight restrictions on the ramp from the bridge to the island different from the weight restric-tions on the bridge ?

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