By now, it’s like a recording stuck on repeat: The AVAC is down in Southtown. Hallways are rich with smells of ripening trash while the usual suspect hunkers down in silence. It’s been like this for 2 1/2 years now, and RIOC has finally run out of excuses and residents to blame.
by David Stone
This morning in Southtown, the AVAC system reminds us again that it’s broken and in need of a fix. A fix that is not on its way.
Since 460 Main Street opened in 2021, adding additional load on the AVAC, failures are common – routine – while RIOC has no answer.
Sure, it has broken down in other areas during this time, but that just shows how crippled it is in general.
Remember the bed frame that no one ever saw? How about the swamp pit under fractured tubes?
How about the hilarious claim that a lightning strike brought down the system on a day when there wasn’t a single storm within a hundred-mile radius?
But the AVAC is Down in Southtown and the Well of Excuses Ran Dry
Last we heard from the rudderless governing Rube Goldberg, otherwise known as RIOC, they were launching some work on the west side tubes in July. Daily updates were promised, but none ever came.
We don’t know what became of that project, but the AVAC keeps breaking down in Southtown without a word from the mythical state agency.
Before stripping itself of qualified executives and managers, RIOC knew the aging system needed upgrades. One senior manager even drew up tentative plans, but nothing happened.
Today, the one-of-a-kind, once much-admired trash removal system nears collapse with a huge jump in load ahead.
When Southtown Building #9, well into construction, opens next year, it will lift AVAC demand to much higher levels.
Yet, there is no sign that RIOC is doing anything about it. They haven’t, at this time, even summoned the muscle to inform Roosevelt Islanders of the status of current breakdowns.
The conclusion: Bunkering in Blackwell House is no way to run a railroad nor of managing a community taxed to the gills in paying for it.