Up Next — Phase IV: Washington Square Park’s $1.7 Million Long-Awaited Sidewalks Reconstruction To Begin… Someday (Winter? Spring 2015? Date Still Unknown)

Washington Square East
Washington Square East

Community Board 2’s Parks Committee met on Wednesday, November 5th; on the agenda as a topic, among other issues, was Washington Square Park and private conservancy. Report back on that segment will be next. But first, some updated information on the long awaited repair of the park’s perimeter sidewalks which was discussed separately. A member of the audience wanted to know the status of the sidewalks’ repair mentioning the horrible state they were in, particularly, he noted, on Washington Square South.

Last year, the date given for repair of the park’s sidewalks was summer 2014. Now, according to Sarah Neilson, Washington Square Park Administrator, the question on the table is “whether to start in winter [2014-2015] or [they may] wait until spring [2015].”

Construction of Washington Square Park’s redesign began in late December 2007 and consisted of three phases to date.

Phase III opened in stages in April 2014 (see some photos from the June ribbon cutting ceremony at the end of the post).

SE quadrant
SE quadrant

The Parks Department’s Manhattan Chief of Staff Steve Simon was in attendance at the Community Board meeting and stated that part of the reason for the delay is that the sidewalk construction needed to go out to bid (an RFP – request for proposals from contractors). When asked if every sidewalk goes out to bid, Simon stated: “This is a complete reconstruction of the sidewalk [around the entire park]. It is an outside contractor. Maybe you can call it Phase IV.” 

Simon quoted the cost of the sidewalk work as ringing up somewhere in the range of $1.5 – $1.7 million. Washington Square Park’s redesign to date has cost over $32 million (note: it was budgeted at the onset for $16 million).

Since it has been known for awhile that the sidewalks were in this sad state, it is unclear why this could not have moved along a little more swiftly or placed in an earlier phase of the work.

As for the trees planted around the sidewalks that have died or are dying (separate from the ones dying within the park), Neilson said where the pits are now “empty, they will have trees.”

empty tree pit (wash sq east)
empty tree pit (wash sq east)

washington_square_park_sidewalks_1washington_square_park_sidewalks_4

Never posted at this blog were photos from Phase III Ribbon Cutting held in June 2014; here are a couple:

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Member Margaret Chin, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, City Council Member Corey Johnson, DE
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Member Margaret Chin, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, City Council Member Corey Johnson, Department of Design & Construction Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora

ribbon_cutting_parks_department_washington_square_park

WSP Blog report-back on Community Board 2 meeting and conservancy up next!

Photos: Cathryn

5 thoughts on “Up Next — Phase IV: Washington Square Park’s $1.7 Million Long-Awaited Sidewalks Reconstruction To Begin… Someday (Winter? Spring 2015? Date Still Unknown)

  1. Hi Jonathan,

    So true. Let me get back to you. I have no idea why it is taking so long or why this was prolonged to the very last phase of the project to begin with — People have been injured and it is just unacceptable. Thanks.

    Cathryn

  2. Hi Jonathan & anklebreaker,

    It was supposed to start in June – it is now August and apparently there is yet another meeting to discuss it. I cannot understand why it is not just started.

    If you would like to attend, and it would be great if people voice their thoughts/concerns/etc. about this, the meeting is:

    Community Board 2 PARKS Committee Meeting:
    Wed., 8/12 @ 6:30 PM- NYU Silver Building, 32 Waverly Place, Room 208

    1. * Presentation by the Parks Department regarding the Washington Square Park perimeter sidewalk reconstruction project.

    Thanks —
    Cathryn

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