A beautification project at a busy transit hub is progressing again.
After a delay due to issues surrounding the contract on the renovation of Amendola Plaza, work on the hub for buses and commuters at the foot of the Pelham Bay Park #6 IRT station is now moving forward, according to multiple sources.
The project will add three areas of green-space along with planting beds surrounded by granite curbs and steel picket fencing.
It also adds new bus shelters for the Bx 29, Bx 45, Bx 5 and Bx 23 drop off and pick up locations.
According to a previous Bronx Times article, the project was originally to have been completed in October.
Councilman James Vacca, who had secured funding for the project, said that he had been informed by NYC Parks Department recently that the contractor had been in danger of defaulting and had not worked on the project for months, but that the matter has been resolved.
“The worst thing that could happen in a capital project is for someone to default, because if there is a default that means that it has to be re-bid, delaying it for a year to a year and a half,” said Vacca, adding “I am glad that it looks like it is going to work.”
The Pelham Bay Taxpayers Association has been monitoring the situation.
“We are very anxious to get this project back on schedule because the area has become quite unappealing and the community is concerned that it has become a poor reflection on Pelham Bay,” stated Michele Torrioni, PBTA president, adding she hopes that the project is completed quickly.
A Parks Department spokesperson confirmed that there had been delays.
“We understand the significance of Amendola Plaza and how important it is to residents of this neighborhood,” said Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, Bronx Parks Commissioner, in a statement.
Commuters continue to be concerned about navigating through closed-off parts of Amendola Plaza while making connections.
Florence Nielson, who comes through Amendola on a Bx29 bus to transfer to the subway, said that since work has resumed more areas under the train station on the plaza have been cordoned off.
This has necessitated that many bus riders on lines that stop along Bruckner Boulevard walk either through a narrow passageway of fencing that at a point can fit only one to two people at a time, or around the perimeter of the station, said Nielson.
John Hovey, who takes the Bx 5 bus from Amendola, called the project “a headache,” saying that riders are getting aggravated by the construction taking up space on the street near bus stops and necessitating long walks around the edge of the station in some cases.
Community activist John Marano said that he believes the beautification project should have also included curb cut for cabs, and added that he hoped the project would be completed soon.
The general contractor for the project is listed on two work signs as Sam Waterproofing, Inc.