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Though the City had plans to rebuild the dilapidated structure next year, accelerated erosion from the water’s powerful waves required the Department of Transportation to revise their strategy.
“We applied urgent work to maintain safety while the more permanent, long-term construction of the bulkhead was being done,” Department of Design and Construction spokesman Matthew Monahan said.
A permanent solution to solidify the wall that supports Pennyfield Avenue from dropping into the East River is currently underway, with a completion date expected sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The $5 million rehab will not only brace the road, beginning at SUNY Maritime College and extending 300 feet east, but will also guarantee 30 years of safe driving along the stretch.
“Protecting public safety is our absolute top priority,” Monahan commented about the DDC’s role to design and construct the wall on behalf of the DOT. “We apologize for inconveniencing anyone who had longer travel time, however, we always keep safety in mind.”
Working just down the road at Harbour Inn, 50 Pennyfield Avenue, bartender Matthew Veltman said he’s very appreciative of the wall rehab.
While he said he’s heard various descriptions of the work that’s underway, he assured, “It’s a win, win regardless,” if it relates to pedestrian or driver safety.
Veltman said since the construction began, his view at the restaurant clearly shows the importance of the wall and roadway improvements.
“It appears the break up is pretty bad over there,” he explained. “There’s a lot of heavy traffic that drives up there so it’s good they’re securing the road.”
The construction not only brought extra noise to the otherwise relatively quiet and remote area, but also added unsightly scenery from the temporary bright orange barriers that protect passersby from the road’s otherwise unprotected edge.
Though Veltman said he doesn’t mind the commotion.
Since the street closed, he explained that the otherwise frequent parking teens have virtually ceased to exist, creating a more family-friendly view.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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