If you live on Sedgwick Avenue and were beginning to wonder when your street would finally be clear of construction and electrical work, you finally have an answer.
It’s going to be a very, very long time.
That’s because Con Edison, the utility company that services New York City and Westchester County, is working on yet another Sedgwick project. This time contractors are refurbishing electrical lines on the opposite side of the street where they repaired gas lines this past winter.
While the new project wasn’t news to most residents, people like Charles Zsebedics — the building manager for the Amalgamated and Park Reservoir housing corporations — were displeased they weren’t given notice that construction had officially begun. Despite being promised exactly that in March.
“ConEd has not notified management of any of the on goings there,” Zsebedics said. “It seems like every other year there is another project on Sedgwick up to Goulden Avenue.”
But ConEd tells a very different story. The utility company claims it notified all residents a few weeks before construction began — at least those who provided their email addresses to the company. ConEd spokesman Robert McGee also informed Community Board 8 members as well as local elected officials.
“We regret any inconvenience, but all of this work is necessary to ensure the reliability of operations,” McGee said.
Nearly 65 percent of ConEd customers on Sedgwick have given the company their email address, McGee said, and beyond that, the utility largely relied on elected officials to spread the word.
But ConEd never gives those officials enough time to spread the word, said Councilman Andrew Cohen. He regularly receives ConEd notices, but it rarely comes more than a week, and almost never more than two weeks, before the construction starts.
“Having ConEd tear up the street is terribly inconvenient for the people who live on those streets,” Cohen said. “It’s terrible work, and it’s inconvenient. It would be deceptive to say that it’s not hardship, that’s just the way that it is.”
The main inconvenience residents have faced, according to Zsebedics, is parking, which already is nearly impossible to find, even when there isn’t construction on Sedgwick.
“You add a project to this and it’s exponentially more difficult to find parking,” he said. “People are just hunkering down because parking is just so difficult.”
Despite complaints to CB8 and local elected officials, it seems most residents on Sedgwick have played the role of the good soldier, according to Zsebedics. Park Reservoir residents, for example, have hardly complained to him at all.
“That’s not to say they aren’t disturbed, angry, (and) annoyed at the project,” he said. “We have outstanding shareholders who kind of bite their tongue and do what they have to do with the expectation that it will be done when it needs to get done.”