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May 9, 2012

Contradicting state agency, report says Carlton Avenue Bridge would not be finished before arena opens; as Forest City aims for speed-up, agency suggests plan to mitigate likely chaos

Atlantic Yards Report

So, is the Carlton Avenue Bridge on schedule?

Only if the state flunks transparency.

Last week, Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project for Empire State Development (ESD), assured those at a community meeting that "I'm more than confident that the bridge will be open before the first public event at the arena." That's a September 28 Jay-Z concert.

However, the regular site observation report issued yesterday by Merritt & Harris, the construction monitor for the arena bonds, predicted that the bridge would be completed five days later, by October 3.

At the meeting May 2, Hankin and agency CEO Kenneth Adams made no mention of that schedule, though it was surely known to them. While the October 3 date was referenced publicly in the report issued yesterday, it comes from a schedule dated March 30.

"The Developer is optimistic they can reduce the completion date by 2 weeks," states the report issued yesterday.

So it's possible the bridge will open on time. But the word "optimistic" indicates less certainty than Hankin's "more than confident" phrasing.

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Posted by eric at May 9, 2012 1:42 PM