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Update June 18, 2013- By Steven Greer
The BPCA met today. The West Thames bridge was downplayed once again by the BPCA, with Chairman Mehiel only saying, “Nothing new to report….we’ll see how that goes”
May 24, 2013– By Steven E. Greer
At the May 23rd meeting the BPCA board, Chairman Dennis Mehiel seemed to indicate that the West Thames pedestrian bridge (AKA Speaker Sheldon Silver’s Bridge), was not advancing in development. He said, “The project has been downgraded to a design project, (with the BPCA) giving $2 Million…it is going a bit slowly now…sorting through the details of (financial) risk.”
Recall, in a previous BPCA meeting, representatives from the Mayor’s office gave very sketchy architectural plans, which were based in guesswork more than actual planning. The city also wanted the BPCA to be responsible for the inevitable cost overruns.
The primary champion of using untapped LMDC money to build the $30 Million bridge to nowhere has been Speaker Sheldon Silver. Recently, Mr. Silver has suffered high-profile setbacks related to sex scandals, prompting The New York Times to issue an Op-Ed calling for him to resign, all of which has consumed some of his political clout.
Meanwhile, at the same BPCA meeting, a resolution was passed for the BPCA to pay $2.9 Million to pay for approximately two-thirds of the cost of the damaged Liberty Street bridge that leads from the WFC to the WTC and 9/11 Memorial (photo above). note the large difference in costs of the two bridges (i.e. $30 v $4 Million). Moreover, the temporary Rector Street bridge cost in the range of $3 Million.
However, we cannot confirm those estimates. If anyone has better figures for those bridges costs, please post a comment.
Silver’s bridge will, of course, cost 10 times more. He is the king of handouts to grubby groups who will pocket the cash and leave the community with an inferior structure that will become an endless source of patronage “repair jobs.”
For all I know, this bridge i.e. the one on Rector need not be built at all. It was not needed pre-Sept 11 and only reared its ahead in the aftermath. I have a suspision that it was promoted back then by those groups who were in favor of building the West street tunnel. When that project died (I hope it did), the Rector bridge raison d’etre had been forgotten by then and so it continues to zap time, energy and money indefinately. Stop the project and the design. Put the money elsewhere where it may be more helpful to the residents of BPC.