Forest City Ratner: Carlton Ave Bridge Closure “a Bit of a Conundrum”

Norman Oder at Atlantic Yards Report has the details from Wednesday's public meeting on street closures and traffic changes near the footprint of Bruce Ratner's Brooklyn arena project. With construction apparently on the verge of ramping up significantly, local electeds, NYCDOT, and representatives of developer Forest City Ratner engaged in a Q&A session as notable for what was left unsaid as for what was revealed.

carlton_bridge.jpgThe Vanderbilt Rail Yards and the rump of the Carlton Avenue bridge. Photo: threecee/Flickr
Forest City Ratner did discuss its failure to reopen the Carlton Avenue bridge. This missing piece of the Prospect Heights/Fort Greene street grid -- a critical link for cyclists who use the Manhattan Bridge -- was originally expected to be rebuilt two years after closing in January 2008, with Forest City facing a three-year deadline to complete the work before incurring penalties. Now the reconstructed bridge is unlikely to open until 2012 at the earliest, and Oder reports that Forest City's explanation, along with its timetable, keeps on shifting.

Largely unmentioned at the meeting was Forest City's intention to construct more than a thousand "interim" surface parking spaces on the site, mostly to store vehicles belonging to their employees and construction workers. Since all this new parking could sit around generating traffic and blighting the landscape for quite some time, neighborhood groups want to know exactly how much would be constructed, and how it will be priced and managed. They didn't get any answers on Wednesday.

For more on the meeting, head over to Atlantic Yards Report.