A rendering of the soon-to-be completed Atlantic Terminal LIRR entrance.
For years, the LIRR entrance at the Atlantic Terminal has been shrouded in construction. While the Atlantic Terminal mall opened in 2004 with promises of a rebuilt LIRR entrance to follow, the project has been encumbered by seemingly never-ending delays. Shocking, I know.
While I was away on vacation, The Local, The Times’ Fort Greene and Clinton Hill blog, dug into the causes behind the delay. In response to a reader query into the state of the delays, Michael Szeto uncovered an answer — and a revised timeline — for the project:
According to a spokesman for the Long Island Railroad, the project at Atlantic Terminal will be completed this fall. There are two phases of construction and the final phase is being completed now.
The first phase of the project involved Flatbush Station improvements. It was completed on time in 2005. The last phase centers on the new entrance pavilion that was scheduled for completion in 2007 but “unforeseen site conditions,” according to a spokeswoman for the LIRR, extended the project for two more years. There was a need for additional steel and building materials and the work areas were smaller than expected, which slowed the pace of construction, the spokeswoman said.
It is of course both surprising and not to hear about the reasons for the delay. The project needed more materials and the work space, hardly a secret when the MTA fielded bids on the entrance, ended up being “smaller than expected.” No wonder Mayor Bloomberg wants to trim some of the bureaucratic mess from the MTA and streamline internal operations.
We never hear about the penalties built into the contracts the MTA awards to contractors who can’t finish projects on time or near budget. I have to hope, however, that the authority is not on the hook for what seems to be, over and over again, a faulty bidding system. Getting the lowest bid would seemingly save the authority money, but then again, they get what they pay for.