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February 10, 2012

Exclusive: the Carlton Avenue Bridge is delayed one month, setting up breakneck pace to achieve completion before arena opens; officials have not acknowledged delays

Atlantic Yards Report

Though neither Forest City Ratner nor city/state officials have said so, the reconstruction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge, a crucial connector between Prospect Heights and Fort Greene, is lagging a month behind schedule, state documents confirm.

The delay has sparked a breakneck construction pace to meet the new completion date of late September 2012, just before the first official Barclays Center event, a sure-to-be-sold-out Jay-Z concert on 9/28/12.

Just yesterday, Empire State Development, the state agency in charge of the project, announced that work to finish the bridge could go as late as 3 am on weekdays through September.

That means that painfully bright (to some) floodlights will illuminate the Vanderbilt Yard until 3 am--and, as experience has shown, likely even longer. And if the bridge doesn't get done in time, nearby streets would face confusion and chaos on event days, at least initially.

(February 2010 photo by Tracy Collins)

Key connection

The bridge, closed since January 2008 to enable renovation work in the below-ground Long Island Rail Road's Vanderbilt Yard, not only offers a key artery, it borders the planned surface parking lot, a magnet for up to 1100 vehicles.

The $40 million bridge reconstruction is an Arena Opening Condition, a requirement in a document Forest City signed with Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing the project.

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NoLandGrab: And if you think failure to meet that "Arena Opening Condition" will actually keep the arena from opening, we've got another bridge to sell you.

Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Watch, Railyard construction extended to 3:00 AM weekdays

Construction work hours in NYC normally are allowed 7 AM to 6 PM weekdays. Recently work in the railyard has been extended to begin at 6 AM and end at 11 PM weekdays, and from 7 AM to 11 PM Saturdays. Arena work hours have been extended as well.

Complaints about the use of lights have occurred with some regularity on Atlantic Yards Watch recently. The lights were originally not to be used for construction. According to the Project Director the contract between FCRC and LIRR was to be revised to enable the contractor to use the lights for construction, not just operation and repair as originally intended. The supplemental alert warns the lights may now be used until 3:00 AM.

Posted by eric at February 10, 2012 11:03 AM