Stalled Project Slated for Completion In October

Work On Emergency Access Road Behind Octagon Resumes This Week

Updated 1 year ago David Stone
Ugly construction fencing abandoned by DEP since spring.
Ugly construction fencing abandoned by DEP since spring.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

RIOC echoed an Octagon management announcement, last week, "The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will restart construction Monday, Aug. 27 for an emergency access road to the DEP Roosevelt Island" Water Tunnel 3 site. If all goes as planned, the eyesore that sat abandoned by the city all summer will be gone before Thanksgiving. Don't hold your breath.

A sign mounted on the entry gate for a road running past the Roosevelt Island Gardens informs us that DEP's estimated finish date expired back in May, but it wasn't until The Daily asked questions that RIOC looked into why ugly construction fencing was left guarding a wild field of grass that cut off access to the waterfront all summer.

Work On Emergency Access Road Behind Octagon Resumes This Week

Picnickers in the park watched smoke from busy grills waft over the mini green monster and wondered what the point of it was.

"The project was originally slated to begin in April, but encountered contracting delays," RIOC said.

No information about why DEP didn't tell anyone was included in the announcement.

Intended only for emergency use, "The road will be grass paved (more about that later) and is intended to blend with the existing Octagon building campus.

"The Sabrina statue has been cautiously moved out of the access road path."

Grass paver.
Grass paver.

Because "grass paved" reads like the ultimate oxymoron, we asked RIOC Public Information officer Alonza Robertson to interpret the lingo.

He provided the accompanying image with this explanation: "It's a plastic green paver that's laid atop the gravel."

Gravel? We haven't gotten there yet.

DEP's lack of concern for the community, expressed by silence, still resonant, we'll believe it when we see it.

We hope that will be soon, and winter will be blessed with clear views across a chilly East River while we're counting down to spring.


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