Public construction and rehab projects are a staple of city life. Often, projects take too darn long, leading to ballooning budgets and cranky taxpayers. Having more eyes focused on this work doesn’t guarantee the prevention of contractor defaults and bureaucratic distraction. But it can’t hurt, and sometimes helps to speed things up.
The below list, in alphabetical order, is obviously a work-in-progress. If you know of a Bronx public works project that’s overdue, email bronxmatters-at-gmail.com. If you have, or know the link to, any records pertaining to the project, send that my way, too. Photos are also useful.
And if you work at a city agency and have any corrections or more current information to provide about the projects discussed here, let me know and I’ll update the entry ASAP. Thanks!
Harris Park (Bedford Park) – The renovation of half of the fields, which are sandwiched between Lehman College and the Bronx High School of Science began in 2008, are still not done, thanks to lead contamination, discovered in 2010. That held up things considerably and added $5.2 million to the clean-up costs. (The remaining fields have already been replaced with synthetic turf.) The forecast for completion on the Parks Department’s website is out of date as it predicts wrapping up the project by Fall 2011 (see box at bottom right of linked page). (LAST UPDATED 2/29/12)
Van Cortlandt Park/Parade Grounds (Riverdale) - Sixty-five acres of fields in the area of Van Cortlandt Park that borders a long stretch of Broadway is home to a U.N. of athletic activities. But since 2008 most of the cricket fields have been off limits following a massive reconstruction of the grounds because Parks officials aren’t pleased with the kind of grass that the contractor grew there. So it remains fenced off, squeezing out — and bumming out — avid cricket players. The completion date has been pushed off to this fall instead of last fall. (LAST UPDATED 2/29/12)
DeWitt Clinton High School (Bedford Park) – According to Department of Education spokesperson Marge Feinberg, this storied school (James Baldwin, Richard Avedon and Robert Klein are just a few of the famous alums) is “receiving a building upgrade to maintain a state of good repair. Work on the windows, roof, parapets and partial exterior masonry begin in February of 2010 and was completed last month.” We’re awaiting word on why the scaffolding and netting visible in this picture are still in place. Other improvements include an athletic field upgrade, completed in May 2011, and a heating plant upgrade. Elevators are currently under construction and an “upgrade in computer connectivity” is up next. (LAST UPDATED 2/29/12)