Aboveground work on the 63rd Street Track Fixation Project – otherwise known mysteriously as “the F train outage” by RIOC – had cement rolling along Main Street yesterday. It was impressive as three heavy cement mixers churned out foundation material across from the subway.
by David Stone
Most surprising was how deftly the MTA crews managed three big mixers along a narrow space outside the tunnel’s air shaft. For intensive one-day work, mural artwork was carefully shielded and barriers separated moving traffic from immobile equipment.
Aboveground Work for Down Below
In October, step by step, MTA crews filled up the Queens-bound side of the Roosevelt Island subway platform with track-building material. The bed, tracks and concrete supports are gone. Cement mixed and poured yesterday contributes to the core rebuild.
As the project rolls along toward completion on that side, the reverse will happen on the Manhattan-bound side. Given the progress so far, the target for wrapping the project up in early 2024 looks more fanciful by the day.
On the local side, RIOC fumbled another one in addition to the strange “F Train Outage” description.
The gang that can’t write straight (apologies to the late Jimmy Breslin), no matter how much public money we throw at them, delivered another classic:
“During this time anticipate additional activity is around the subway station, as concrete trucks will be on site,” Team RIOC advised.
That little jaunt of illiteracy was still more remarkable because it was one of only four sentences.
And, of course, there were additional gestures underscoring this state agency’s disconnection from the community.
“Flag persons will be on site to assist with trucks,” RIOC advised. “Public Safety will monitor traffic in the area.”
Neither “fact” was true. Look at the photo above. Even with a truck parked smack in the mouth of the crosswalk, there are no flags let alone “persons” waving them.
And PSD monitoring traffic “in the area?” Kidding?
All day, the most we saw was a random marked car cruising by, heater on, windows closed. But although this is how most Roosevelt Islanders experience PSD, it often makes us wonder where the other 48 staffers are hiding.
Chalk it up as another real opportunity to get involved in community life missed again.