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Atlantic Avenue Sewer Work More Than a Year Behind Schedule

Delays in $13.9 million project leaves bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers to navigate a tangled web of construction.

The fact that the three-way intersection of Atlantic Avenue with Washington and Underhill avenues continues to be a veritable slalom of potholes, traffic barriers and painted double lines is hardly news to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists traveling between Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights. 

However, what may be not commonly known is that the estimated $13.9 million project to replace decades-old sewer lines is now officially 15 months behind schedule.

"It's as frustrating as it is completely unavoidable," said cyclist Caitlin Brennan after navigating the tricky right-of-way on the way to work in Williamsburg on Tuesday.

Begun in 2010, the project has gone off schedule due to a six-month wait for state Department of Environmental Conservation approval for coupling smaller sewer lines along Washington and Underhill avenues to the main trunk sewer line underneath Atlantic Avenue, according to city Department of Design and Construction engineer Odette Michael. 

And due to guidelines barring work during warmer months, construction has been at a standstill since May and will not resume until Sept. 15 at the earliest, Michael said.

"It’s a very old trunk main. If we shutdown now there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to shut it down again," she said.

Once construction is complete, promised improvements by the city Department of Transportation include a pedestrian safety "refuge" at Atlantic Avenue, park and greenway expansions at Lowry Square and a ban on left turns from Atlantic to Washington Avenue.

But for now, and for months to come, pedestrians like Carol Brown will have to step over potholes and squeeze into pedestrian barricades while crossing from Prospect Heights to the Clinton-Washington Av C line subway station in Clinton Hill.

"I need a subway to get to the subway," Brown said.

Blankocat June 19, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I don't understand why it would take a first world nation 3 years to replace a sewer line...

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