Park Update: Work on Phase II is Beginning at Washington Square Park but Fencing Not Up YET

As of 2 p.m. today — I went by the Park earlier and although there are Tucci construction trucks along the Southern rim of Washington Square Park (as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the bid for the work was “awarded” to Tucci Equipment Rentals) and there are some small locking fences put up there, the 10 foot high fencing (made in China) has not yet started to envelope the park.

Why is such a large area of the Park going under construction all at once in Phase II?  NE, SE and SW Quadrants all to be shut down at once

When you stroll through the park and realize how much of this public space is getting shuttered all at once, I still can’t fathom why more of Phase II did not get shifted to and combined with Phase III (which includes the bathrooms – which pretty much EVERYONE wanted completed first except for the Parks Department – and Parks Dept. administrative offices).

A HUGE portion of the Park is being shut down unnecessarily all at once in Phase II – the NorthEast, SouthEast and SouthWest Quadrants.

I would surmise that if there hadn’t been so much controversy and disdain over the details of the Parks Department’s redesign (and also so much attention placed on Phase I – which included the moving of the Fountain to align with the Arch and the removal of the sunken plaza and reduction of public space), more attention would have been paid to this. (Of course, our City Council Members providing “oversight” should have noticed – Alan Gerson (soon to be leaving office) and Speaker Christine Quinn.)

The Costs of the Redesign Project: Doubled from Originally Projected (And Approved) Figures

As it was pointed out yesterday in the comment section by Matt, Phase I of the project alone exceeded (just slightly) the budget originally laid out — for all three phases — which was set at $16 million. And although they say Phase II is coming in at $9.1 million, at the end of the day, the budget for this project will most certainly have doubled from what was approved by our City Council.

How long will Phase II take?

Ray commented yesterday asking how long til completion.  Phase I took one and a half years (which seems SO long now).  I have not heard a projected time yet but will find out.

** I took photos today which I’ll post in a day or two. **

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1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Dudley

     /  September 20, 2009

    Yesterday. my beau and I got falafel at Mamoun’s and then went to sit in WSP. I think I am probably projecting, but it looked and felt like it had just had a “going out of business” sale. In the renovated section, I expected the plants to have filled out the bare spaces, but there were several dismal looking patches. And the wildflowers had been dead-headed, but their stalks were left standing, like naked mannequins. Well, I felt depressed before I went, so I’m probably taking it all out on WSP. But the Hangman’s Elm was as glorious as ever. One of the great trees of NYC. We expect and need so much from our few parks, don’t we?

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