City replaces crumbling wall

This retaining wall of a vacant house was in shambles.

After a resident petitioned the city to do something about a dangerous crumbling retaining wall at the corner of Pilgrim and Buhre avenues, a local elected official responded with a solution.

According to the Pelham Bay Taxpayer and Community Association’s second vice-president Frank Tranchese, the wall holding back an above grade property, had been leaning forward for 10 years. The upkeep of the house, located at 2865 Buhre Avenue had been very spotty since a tax lien was placed on the property.

Tranchese and the PBCTA reached out to Senator Jeff Klein’s office when a large portion of the wall broke off and looked like it was going to fall onto the sidewalk on Pilgrim Avenue, potentially putting pedestrians at risk.

“Three or four feet of the wall started to break off,” Tranchese said. “The wall had a wire fence on top that was also not in good repair, and may have contributed to it crumbling.”

Tranchese met with members of Klein’s staff in March. The senator’s office contacted the Department of Buildings, which inspected the property and issued a declaration ordering the property owner to fix the problem.

However, the owner of record, Inez Monti, died a decade ago. At Klein’s urging, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development hired a contractor to fix the wall.

“I’m proud to represent some of the best and longest standing communities in the city, but these communities must be maintained so that they can continue to serve generations of New York families in a safe and habitable manner,” Klein said in reference to the wall’s repair.

A work order was signed off on April 23, and work crews were at the location on at least three separate occasions to pour a new footing for the cinderblock replacement wall and to install a chain-link fence at the wall. Work was completed on May 8.

“I think they did a great job, and the whole corner looks neat,” Tranchese said. “Senator Klein finally got in touch with the right people, and an inspector came out.”

Tranchese said that his only wish now is that the sidewalk next to the new fence and wall be repaired.

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