He’s not the biggest fan of the seven-story building set to rise from 3128 Henry Hudson Parkway, but Charles Moerdler has a much more positive take when it comes to Alan Radoncic, whose father is leading the construction.
Radoncic openly shared the various issues plaguing the construction project so far during Monday’s Community Board 8 land use committee meeting, including a non-working fire hydrant his company — R+B Development Group — had paid considerable money to use.
Moerdler said he sympathized with those issues, but as the land use chair, he needed to insist Radoncic’s company re-open a travel lane in front of the project.
“There are now plastic-type barriers there, and I have asked them to remove them,” Moerdler said. “The MTA’s bus division has been notified, and the 50th Precinct has been notified that they are going to be removed, or there are going to be tickets.”
Work on the new apartment project began late last year, expected to create 46 new apartments on the site, according to published reports.
The barriers aren’t there to reserve premium parking for the construction company’s bosses, Radoncic said. Instead, it’s to ensure there’s enough room for the dump trucks, concrete pumps and the crane needed to get the work done.
The construction team also is required to ensure there is enough space for pedestrians to get through as well, Radoncic added. Removing the barrier, at least right now, wouldn’t be easy.
“Then be ready to have someone on standby to get a lot of tickets,” Moerdler warned.
The road is a primary route for a number of buses, including the Bx10 and the BxM1. But cars use that stretch of road too — and all traffic is squeezed into a single lane past the construction site.
Councilman Andrew Cohen, however, believes the barriers won’t be up for much longer — at least based on a meeting he said he had Monday with the project’s developer.
“Those barriers are only there for the excavation” at the site, Cohen said.
“It’s my understanding it should be completed in about a week. I am not vouching for them, but that is what they represented to me.”
While traffic past the barriers might be an issue, Radoncic admitted the biggest complaints his team was receiving focused more on noise and dust. The rocky terrain has been harder to navigate than expected, and workers have had to rely heavily on jackhammers to chip the rocky landscape away.
“The noise is inevitable,” Radoncic said. “We tried to break the rock that is present on the site with a jackhammer, but it’s not working.”
Radoncic’s crew has expected to remove sedimentary rock, which shatters and crumbles easily. Instead, the site is filled with metamorphic rocks, which don’t have the same breaking points sedimentary rock has.
The best way to remove it would be to drill holes and fill those holes with expanding cement, Radoncic said. As the cement pushes against the rock, it breaks it apart. That has failed here, however, because it was too cold over the past couple weeks.
Dust has been another issue, and something that has been harder to control because crews don’t have access to the amount of water they had expected, which would have soaked the dust and stopped it from going airborne.
R+B paid thousands of dollars for use of a fire hydrant in front of the site, but Radoncic said fire officials told him later that hydrant hasn’t worked in two years.
“The only way I can reach DEP for the last four months is through 311, and my permit expires in May,” Radoncic said.
Moerdler offered the builder a deal: Remove the barriers and re-open traffic on Henry Hudson Parkway, and he’ll personally reach out to his contacts with the city’s environmental protection department and get that hydrant working again.
As of Tuesday, the barriers remained, and it was unclear if any progress had been made in repairing the fire hydrant.
According to permits filed with the city, the new apartment building will offer nearly 40,000 square feet of residential space as well as parking for nearly 25 vehicles.
The structure also is expected to feature indoor recreation space and a rooftop terrace.