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May 18, 2013- We asked the crew contracted by ConEd why they are digging up Battery Place yet again. The foreman explained that, after the Hurricane Sandy and electrical outages in Downtown (which did not affect Battery Park City), more nearby buildings are installing natural gas powered turbine generators as backup. The destruction of the new sidewalk by the same crew in March was simply an “exploratory” mission to find where the best location would be to install new regulators. The work ongoing is supposedly to actually install the new devices.
An employee of the Visioniare building, which is adjacent to the road excavation, had his doubts. That building already has a rooftop backup gas generator, and all of the units are powered by gas. He postulated that the older buildings across the street might need the new gas lines.
March 10, 2013 By Steven E. Greer
Since approximately 2008, when the old “Ground Zero” began to be transformed into the new World Trade Center complex, conEdison has been digging up Battery Place and West Thames Street over and over for gas line work. ConEd finally completed their work in 2012, and the streets received permanent paving along with expensive concrete sidewalks by the Battery Place Market and new PS 276 school.
Lo and behold, they were at it again. On early Saturday morning, without a permit, according to 311, ConEd came out with disturbing jackhammers and started to tear up the pristine new sidewalk and black pavement. The police arrived, due to the noise, and were told that the work was “emergency”, which seems highly unlikely. By Sunday, what remained was a hideous patchwork of scars on the ground.
ConEd will give no comment on work details of this nature.
This type of needless work is not only a waste of resources and money, but is very damaging to the neighborhood, both in quality of life via noise, and quality of life via aesthetics of the streets. If you see such work taking place, with noise in the early morning, 311 will take the complaint and investigate.
The 311 operators are hit or miss. If you encounter one unwilling to take the complaint, or wants to brush it off to the environmental department to be investigated 10-days later, then call the First Precinct at (212) 334-0616.
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