I just got an email from Kyle at DQM via Steve at 5Boro. Here’s the gist; they will be closed, beginning January 14th for 4-6 months. Come Summer 2010, one area will be uncovered and open to ride. The project will be completed 2014. Still a bummer, but not a total loss.
Thanks Kyle and big ups to Steve at 5Boro for spearheading this. Check out the full email below.
Edit: I’ve included Steve’s images in the full post.
Hey Everyone- thanks for all your help in spreading the word about the banks and to those who took the time to reach out to the DOT it really has helped. The power of all of our communities who use the space has been felt and we have their full and complete attention.
As far as timeline this is the deal(approx dates):
Jan 15th until 4-6 months later- both overpasses that go over the banks area will be covered and
painted(pretty much entire banks area from Pearl to Rose streets will be closed and off limits)
Once overpasses are painted(approx summer 2010)- the north ramp(ramp furthest away from the bridge itself) will
be uncovered and the area that is not used for staging will be open
2014- entire banks area will be open again.
I met with the DOT this week to see exactly what will be closed and when and I’m attaching some photos that show specifics(if you need any of these images hi-res for print let me know)
“Brooklyn Banks 1” shows the area that will be closed for the 4 years after they paint the overpasses. Everything to the left of the red line will be behind a temporary wall(the line goes all the way to Rose street- that is the closed road between the big banks and the small banks) This will pretty much make the actual “banks” unrideable because as we all know it is very difficult to ride them from such an extreme angle.
“Brooklyn Banks 2” shows that the upper banks area will be pretty much rideable up until the end of the steel flatbar.
This is the official statement from DOT:
The Brooklyn Bridge is in urgent need of rehabilitation, and this project is slated to begin in 2010 and expected to finish in 2014. During this time, a portion of the Brooklyn Banks will be closed for use by the contractor. When the storage area is established, more than half of the area currently used as a skatepark will be available for public use.
The scope of work for this project also includes painting, which is expected to begin in the winter of 2010. During painting work, the park will be closed to provide the space required for painting operations. After the painting work in this area is complete, anticipated for mid 2010, the park will be reopened with the exception of the storage area. The park will completely reopen when the rehabilitation is completed. DOT has been working closely with Steve Rodriguez, spokesperson for the Brooklyn Banks and the communities that use it, to share this space without compromising the vital reconstruction of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The person to contact for future complaints/issues/info is:
Sabrina Lau AICP
Planner II I Community Outreach for the Brooklyn Bridge
All this being said…
I have attached an image called “Project area” which shows the entire area that will be used for “staging”(the grayed out area) during the 4 years. I highlighted in red the area that would be great NOT to have staging in which would allow the banks to be used pretty much as it is used on a regular basis. It’s a pretty small space compared to the total project area. I have requested that DOT try to change this area into an area that is NOT used for staging and to me that would be huge.
I know there is nothing we can do about the Banks being closed for the 6 months starting January 15th because that work/painting must be done but I feel as if we should still have an ongoing conversation with the DOT to try and get the red space so that the banks don’t need to be closed for 4 years. I will keep you updated on what DOT says about this and they said they will take it into consideration but nothing can be decided this early on in the project.
I will also be researching possibilities with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to try and get the banks Landmarked and I think with our network of people we could show a great reason for doing so.
Thanks to everyone for your help- NONE of this would have even gotten to this point without YOUR help.