June 1st - June 7th, 2013
Medical Examiners Office Ends Latest Effort to Identify September 11th Remains
June 1 - The city medical examiner's office has ended its latest effort to identify and claim human remains from the September 11th attacks, reported NY1. Since April, crews have been sifting through nearly 16,000 cubic feet of debris and material stored at Fresh Kills on Staten Island. Most of that material was collected from the World Trade Center site from 2010 onward. The medical examiner said six potential human remains were recovered on Thursday, a day before the effort ended. As of last month, the medical examiner has been able to identify about 2,500 victims of the attacks using DNA testing.
West Thames Bridge Delayed Because of Overcharges
June 3 - Thelong-awaited West Thames Pedestrian Bridge was supposed to start construction in November, but now it's unclear if that will happen. The Broadsheet reports that the two parties funding the project can't agree on who will pay for any overcharges -- because, most people think, there's no way this bridge will stay within the $27 million budget -- that construction of the bridge creates. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation allocated $20 million, while the Battery Park City Authority gave the remaining $7 million. Neither agency is authorized to spend more than those amounts, and the city's Economic Development Corporation doesn't want to pick up the bill. On top of that, a new architecture team is still needed for the bridge. SHoP's lenticular truss creation was too expensive, so it's been downsized. The first $2 million phase of the project will be put out to bid soon, and that should cover the initial engineering studies and preliminary architectural work.
Statue of Liberty Security Screening Moved to Lower Manhattan
June 4 - Security screening for visitors to the Statue of Liberty will be held in Lower Manhattan instead of on Ellis Island when the site reopens on July 4 after cleanup from Superstorm Sandy, according to the Associated Press. The National Park Service originally had planned for visitors to board cruise ships in Manhattan or in Liberty State Park, N.J., and stop at Ellis Island for security, but New York officials criticized the plan. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and police Commissioner Raymond Kelly urged federal authorities to reverse the policy, saying it could leave visitors vulnerable. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced Monday that establishing a temporary screening facility at lower Manhattan's Battery Park would address security concerns while security procedures are further reviewed. Plans for screenings at Liberty State Park are being developed.
R Train Tunnel to Close for One Year Starting in August
June 4 - A New York City subway tunnel that was heavily damaged during Hurricane Sandy will be closed for long-term repairs beginning in early August. The Associated Press reports that the work will likely begin in August. It's expected to last 12 to 14 months.The closure will affect the R train, which carries tens of thousands of riders between Manhattan and southern Brooklyn. Salt from storm surges heavily damaged electronic components in the subway tunnels and is still causing corrosion. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority also plans to close a tunnel used by the G train between Brooklyn and Queens for 12 weekends this year.
Lady Liberty Crown Reopens for the Third Time in Four Years
June 6 - Although the 126-year-old Statue of Liberty withstood Hurricane Sandy without damage, three quarters of Liberty Island was submerged by a 13-foot-plus storm surge that uprooted trees, tore out brick pathways, decommissioned passenger and auxiliary docks, and knocked out the utilities and backup generator. However, the National Park Service has been able to repair the damage in time for Lady Liberty to reopen on July 4, reported The Broadsheet. Tickets to visit the Statue of Liberty are now available from Statue Cruises, both online and by calling 201-604-2800. The Statue of Liberty's crown was closed to visitors following the attacks of September 11, 2001, but reopened in 2009 -- only to close again in 2011 for a year of repairs, and then open once more in 2012. Now, reservations can again be made to climb to the crown, as well as tour the grounds and pedestal. At this time, advance tickets may be reserved to visit between July 4 and September 2.
Lower Manhattan Fitness Center Can Finally Open After Fixing Sandy Damage
June 6 - After a six-month delay, a fitness and sports center run by Asphalt Green is taking shape in Battery Park City, reported NY1. The Upper East Side-based fitness organization plans to open up its brand-new facility in Lower Manhattan on June 15. The new building will have a pool, cardio machines, a basketball court and a dance room. The space also includes a room for music and art lessons and a kitchen for cooking classes. The new location was supposed to open in December, but Hurricane Sandy damaged the new building. A brand new gym floor and lots of plumbing needed to be completely redone. Residents of Battery Park City can get a discounted rate for Asphalt Green memberships.
Elevator Access to Some West Street Pedestrian Bridges Nears Resumption
June 7 - Among the longest-lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy, which inundated Lower Manhattan at the end of last October, was a string of outdoor elevators along West Street, which provide handicapped access to four pedestrian bridges (at Rector, Liberty, Vesey, and Chambers Streets), being knocked out of commission. Seven months later, reported The Broadsheet, the elevators serving three of those bridges appear to be closer to coming back online, while no information is available about the fourth. The bridges at Vesey Street and Liberty Street, which connect to the World Financial Center, appear to be poised for recommencing elevator service soonest. A spokesperson for Brookfield Properties said that final testing for the elevators at the east ends of both bridges was scheduled for June 6. (The elevator at the west end of the Liberty Street bridge is indoors, and was undamaged by Hurricane Sandy. The elevator at the west end of the Vesey Street Bridge was successfully repaired several months ago.)