January/February 1995, p.3
9A Scheduled to Grow
All funding for the Route 9A expansion is in place, and after five years of construction, 9A will grow into a 6 lane boulevard, according to Bob Ronaine, Route 9A Project Manager for the NY State DoT. The design has been approved, and work should begin next year. The total cost is estimated as $400 MM including $295 MM for construction costs.
The plan ignores the desires of the local community boards for a closed end service road. DoT believes that closed end service roads will increase traffic by shifting cars northward towards Community Board Four. Instead, DoT plans to alter the traffic patterns in the West Village to produce the desired traffic calming.
Marcy Benstock of the Clean Air Fund noted that the Interim Hudson River Park will be closed during the roadway reconstruction. She contends that the Hudson River Park should be built independently of 9A. This would allow the park to be open during re-construction instead being a mass of razor wire. The 2 billion dollar project of the 80's is dead, the 400 million dollar project of the 90's lives on.
First place winners in the NYC Marathon were awarded Mercedes Benzes. If you are questioning the appropriateness of the prize, you are not alone. Tegla Loroupe, the winning woman who ran the 26.2 miles in just under two and a half hours had this to say: "I don't want to get lazy…I'd rather walk."
The 42nd Street Rail fine is back on track with support from both of NY's US Senators and Mayor Giuliani. Crews of workers are surveying 42nd Street and by the spring of 1995, the location and design of both tracks and stations should be completed. Phase Two is moving forward using $766,000 in funding approved by the mayor. In addition, total cost estimates to the city have decreased, due to the fact that the water mains under 42nd Street need to be replaced. The cost to the city will be reduced from $60MM to $35MM due to the fact that $25MM needs to be spent to repair the water mains. The remaining funding will be allocated from maintenance and road repair. According to Fred Pappert of the 42nd Street Development Corporation there is a tremendous amount of support for the project because it is the only privately financed, public-private partnership infrastructure project in the country.
However, the project is continuing to face opposition from local organizations. Community Boards 4, 5 and 6 feel it will increase traffic in their locality, and will not improve air quality. In addition, according to Gerard Soffian of DoT, a lawsuit has been filed by several organizations located on the east side of Manhattan, among them The Murray Hill Association, Tudor City and the Tudor Hotel. Their suit alleges that the project did not comply with National Environmental Protection Act and that the Environmental Impact Statement was not adequate.
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