The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for September 10th, 2015

opprobrious language

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Progress on the Kosciuszko Bridge Project, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Those Open House NY tours from last week? My practice of handing the mike off to other speakers on the return part of the trip so that I can gather a few shots? Yup. Pictured above is the construction site of the NYC DOT and their contractors – principally Skanska – from the turning basin of that fabled cautionary tale of a waterway known simply as the Newtown Creek? Yup.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The bridge project will eventually run NYS taxpayers around a billion somolians, with the first half of the epic undertaking priced at $550 million. The first phase of the project includes the extensive remodeling of local streets in both Greenpoint and West Maspeth/Sunnyside, the construction of the first (eastern) half of the new bridge, and the demolition of the 1939 Robert Moses model. The second phase will see the erection of the western section of the new bridge, which will be of the cable stay type, and during the entire project – traffic flow of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway has to be maintained.

Framed by the 1939 model in the shot above is Manhattan’s 432 Park Avenue, a residential tower taller than the Empire State Building, whose top floor penthouses have composite valuations close to $300 million bucks. The most desirable of these apartments was recently sold to a Saudi billionaire for an astounding $95 million.

When narrating on the mike, I erroneously said that the penthouses were valued at the same number as phase one of the new Kosciuszko Bridge, but mathematics has never been my strong suit. Also, if I’ve got a hundred bucks in my pocket, I feel rich so there you go. Besides, what’s $200 million to a Saudi Billionaire, anyway?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

On the Brooklyn side of the bridge project, on “used to be Cherry Street,” the support columns for the new bridge are rising steadily. The walking tour which I’ll be conducting on Sunday for Newtown Creek Alliance, which I’ve labeled as “The Poison Cauldron” used to walk right through this area, but given the amount of yuck which the project is kicking up into the air… well… we’re going to get close enough to the project to get a good view of it but not close enough to be in harms way.

The dusk shots in today’s post were gathered during the 5-7 boat tour, btw.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Also from the Open House NY excursions, this time on the trip that went from 7-9, when post sunset darkness and dramatic lighting from the job site provided for somewhat more dramatic shots of the project. The new bridge will be noticeably lower than the current model, incidentally.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Progress is moving a bit slower on the Queens side, but is still on schedule. This shot looks north, at the shallow valley formed by Berlin and Laurel Hills that the 1939 bridge was built into. A lost tributary of Newtown Creek was in this area, called Wolfs Creek, which spilled down from the ridge that Sunnyside (or Long Island City Heights as it was once known) was built into.

If you want to come along this weekend and check out the Poison Cauldron, which discusses the oil industry in Brooklyn as well as many other topics of interest along the Newtown Creek, click the link below. It’s a Newtown Creek Alliance tour, and since NCA is a non profit, your tickets will be a tax deductible item and you say that you helped with our efforts to “reveal, restore, and revitalize” Newtown Creek.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Upcoming Tours –

September 13th, 2015
Poison Cauldron Walking Tour
with Newtown Creek Alliance, click here for details and tickets

September 20th, 2015
Glittering Realms Walking Tour
with Brooklyn Brainery, click here for details and tickets

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