Residents in Country Club are looking for a staging area for their sewer reconstruction project, and may soon get it thanks to intervention from Senator Jeff Klein.
With piles of lumber and materials taking up parking spaces in front of homes on many streets, the community is still waiting for the state Department of Transportation to give the go-ahead for use of a grassy parcel of vacant land next to I-95 at Hollywood and Otis avenues as a staging area for the sewer reconstruction project, said Civic Association president Marcia Pavlica.
She said that she has reached out to Senator Jeff Klein’s office to get the staging area opened.
“I basically put the ball in Senator Klein’s court,” she said of Klein’s attendance at the CICA’s Wednesday, Sept. 25 meeting.
The community mostly feels contractor JRCruz, is doing a “yeoman’s” job, but is hampered without a staging area to store heavy machinery and supplies during the ongoing reconstruction of storm, and combined storm and sanitary, sewers, she said.
“The contractor has paid thousands of dollars to use the site,” said Pavlica.
The work is being done in stages on Baisley, Throgmorton, Fairmount, Waterbury, Vincent, and Wilcox avenue, she said. The work began there in June and should last for about a year and half, said Pavlica. The official DOT start date was in February with completion expected in the summer of 2014, according to a Department of Design and Construction spokesman.
However there have been issues with a contractor from Con Edison who delayed the project for about a month, she said. There had been previous storm sewer construction projects on adjoining blocks.
Klein said that he is going to work with the community and the state to find a suitable staging area.
“Infrastructure maintenance is critical to making our roads, sewer systems, bridges and pipes safe,” said Klein. “However, when this construction gets in the way of the day-to-day needs of the community, we should work together to find solutions.”
Klein continued: “With no staging location to store equipment, construction along Waterbury Avenue in Country Club has caused concerns about parking and safety. My office has contacted the Department of Transportation and will work with DOT to identify a location to safely store their materials until this project is complete.”
Community Board 10 also has reached out to state DOT.
“We are trying to work with New York State DOT on the dedication of a site,” said district manager Kearns. “We have sent a number of e-mails and made phone calls. We are awaiting a response.”
DOT spokesman Charlie O’Shea said the agency is now negotiating an agreement with the contractor for a lease payment for the staging area, but the agency is working on additional language for the agreement because of past concerns with others who have used the space.
“Even though it is not our project, we want to be as helpful to the community as possible and get them a staging area,” said O’Shea.