North Brooklynites now face a transit outage on two fronts
Two months ago, right after passengers walked across it, a gangway connecting Greenpoint to the East River Ferry collapsed into the river’s frigid waters.
Service on the privately operated ferry was suspended until further notice. Greenpoint Councilman Stephen Levin and New York City’s Economic Development Corporation, which uses city money to subsidize the ferry, demanded an immediate investigation.
Red Sky Capital, the Bernstein family real estate concern that built and operates the pier and promised to conduct that investigation has yet to even bring in the water-borne crane that’s necessary to inspect the pier’s pilings and complete the investigation.
And the clock is ticking. Starting on July 28, the G train, the only subway that runs through Greenpoint, will not service the neighborhood for five straight weeks, so that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority can repair damage resulting from Hurricane Sandy, which flooded the tube.
The ferry was supposed to handle many of the passengers that weren’t able to take the subway. If the pier doesn’t get repaired before then, Greenpoint residents will find their commutes even more onerous.
“It’s totally unacceptable for two months later there to be no investigation completed as to what happened,” said Levin. “The day after this happened, I called for a full investigation.”
Benjamin Bernstein, the co-founder of Red Sky, did not respond to requests for comment.
But according to a city official with knowledge of the situation, the issue has to with expense.
City officials want the Bernsteins to conduct a full investigation as to what went wrong with the pier, and only then conduct repairs.
In order to do that, the Bernsteins will have to hire water-borne crane to remove the pilings. And then, they will have to hire a water-borne crane again to make repairs.
The Bernsteins, who developable land next is made more valuable by its proximity to the ferry landing, only want to have to hire a water-borne crane once.
“A full investigation needs to be completed before any other action is taken,” said Levin. “Any delay on it whatsoever is totally irresponsible and unacceptable.”
“Maybe it is more expensive,” he said. “I don’t care. Somebody could have died.”