Collapsing Infrastructure Is Now the Roosevelt Island Norm

Collapsing Infrastructure Is Now the Roosevelt Island Norm

A pattern developed. Then, Roosevelt Island’s collapsing infrastructure reached a new high in negligence as a large section of Eleanor’s Pier fell durimg the long Presidents Day weekend. Many locals who committed to the community, years ago, never thought this level of failure was even possible.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

About the latest incident, a RIOC insider said, “Shelton is not capable of managing staff. All you had to do was walk the site and see the impact.”

The impact:

Rotted wood was no longer able to support the beams from the decorative barrier. But even this danger did not awaken RIOC to the fact that the entire pier is at risk and should be closed off pending a professional inspection.

The Effects of Saltwater

Eleanor’s Pier, extending into the East River along the West Promenade, is living proof of saltwater’s degrading effects on wooden structures. In recent years, it has become the victim of the tides as the Atlantic Ocean daily drowns its structural integrity.

The powerful mixture of salt and water acts like a cleansing agent and weakened Eleanor’s Pier beyond repair in some places.

Constant contact between seawater and wood deprives the pier of essential oils, softening it and making it vulnerable to breakage.

But consistent with observations nearby, it appears as if RIOC has paid little or no notice. As a consequence, the most recent example of collapsing infrastructure came as a surprise.

Just Steps from Eleanor’s Pier

Near the Meditation Steps.

Negligence that earlier RIOC administrations found unimaginable now scars popular public spaces. Above, you see missing Z-bricks along the West Promenade near the popular Meditation Steps. Sights like this were once unthinkable.

Under Governor Kathy Hochul and CEO Seldom Seen Shelton Haynes, RIOC tries promoting Roosevelt Island as a tourist attraction. But what tourist attraction lets its appearance go like a faded Hollywood star?

An amateur hour along Main Street in paving block replacement.
As part of the same paving stone repair project, RIOC simply splashed slurry over the pavers and left it to dry.

These scenes of collapsing infrastructure, unmaintained, sloppily repaired, are just steps from the New York State Shelton J. Haynes Parking Area where the boss parks his gas guzzler on the days he works on Roosevelt Island.

“Anyway,” our RIOC source told us, “when you sit in an office and don’t walk the sites you can’t manage the operations and see what needs to be addressed.”

The solution: “Simple, walk the community, visually inspect the site and be proactive.”

It seems simple. It’s what Haynes’s predecessors did. But they also welcomed contact with Roosevelt Islanders, something Haynes loathes.

In short, you can’t connect with a community or even become aware of the collapsing infrastructure while bunkered in Blackwell House.

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