West Thames pedestrian bridge cost at 45.1 million

Does ANYONE realize what $45.1 Million can buy???! Anyone?

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To the editor:

The news about the West Thames pedestrian bridge delay should not surprise anyone, even when the cost for construction of the bridge comes at a suspiciously ballooned cost, as of September 2016, to be $45.1 million !!!

Does ANYONE realize what $45.1 Million can buy???! Anyone?

No one asks if such a high cost justified when spent on a pedestrian bridge that we all agree well needed? Are there no other less expensive alternative found to get us across the West side highway from point A to point B ?! Nothing less than $45.1 Million!?  Wow!

You may be asking yourselves how much a pedestrian bridge over a highway cost elsewhere?

There are different resources available online with different estimated costs (ranging from $500 per linear foot to over $2,000 per linear foot, depending on usage, aesthetics, applicable codes, and other options).

But NONE are getting close to an inflated cost of this 230 feet pedestrian bridge, representing a cost of about $196,000 per linear foot!

One wonders what goes into this bridge (Is it really that innovative and different from all others?), who’s getting paid what, and who in the world approved such a budget….and why was the cost inflated in just about one year from what was previously estimated in November 2015 to cost $27.5, to $45.1 million in September 2016….JUST $17.6 million more – Ahhh…..small change.

I cross the West Side Highway every day at this location and I ask myself if anyone could build such a pedestrian bridge for less. I challenge you.

But even at such a steep price, the bridge cannot be delivered without a delay….and maybe even with future change orders of a few more millions.
But who’s counting….?

Shay Alster

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CORRECTION UPDATE: MORRIS STREET BRIDGE

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A story in Monday’s BroadsheetDAILY asserted that a new pedestrian bridge, planned for Morris Street had not yet begun construction. This was based on outdated information. The Morris Street bridge is, in fact, now being erected above the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel plaza, and appears to be on schedule for completion by the end of 2017, as originally planned. The Broadsheet regrets the error.

According to an MTA spokesperson:
“MTA Bridges and Tunnels took ownership of the Morris St. Pedestrian Overpass earlier this year, and began demolition of the 1940s deteriorated structure in the summer. We have always stated that the new bridge would be complete and open to the public by the end of 2017.  Nothing has changed.”

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A Case for Participatory Democracy

The New York constitution, adopted in Kingston on April 20, 1777, provided for a two-part legislature, a governor, and a supreme court.  When James Madison conceived of the new Constitution for the United States in 1787, New York’s
was a model for him.

To the editor
I have no connection to any political group or organization, and I wanted to send out my strong feelings regarding the Prop1 vote on Tuesday.

First I would like to direct your attention to a fair analysis pro and con of the proposal:   Below are two links to The Nation. One pro and the other con.
a. https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-york-constitutional-convention-could-threaten-the-states-progressive-fabric/

b/ https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-york-constitutional-convention-would-be-good-for-democracy/

Below are solely my own opinions:
2.      Regarding the claim that these are too politically dangerous times to hold a convention: I disagree. Political feelings are running very high today.: In ‘normal’ times an interest in this would be quite low.  When better to engage the people than in a period when so many are so strongly concerned about the political issues of the moment?  This is the perfect time to hold a convention.

3.      If we are so afraid of the ultimate expression of a democracy, namely to vote for the right to produce a constitution that reflects our current needs, then what is the point of having our form of government?

4.    To vote ‘no’ is to succumb to our apprehensions that perhaps we ‘liberals’ are not really in step with the convictions of our fellow New Yorkers. A ‘no’ vote is a vote arising out of our basic fears of change and the dread of an eventual popular rejection of our closely held beliefs. . If the strength of our arguments cannot finally prevail then our beliefs are at fault not the will of the majority.  If we haven’t the ability to convince our fellows by our hard and tedious work of the correctness of our ideas that fault is ours and not that of the democratic process.

I will vote ‘yes’ as my expression of support for our democracy and can only hope that should the resolution pass my compatriots will be able to summon their moral convictions and energies to put their collaborative efforts to work and together produce resolutions that will be in keeping with the demands of our current interests and needs. My ‘yes’ vote goes to my core of love for my country. It is my reaffirmation of the true meaning of participatory democracy.

Yours in democracy,
Mr. Henry Parsons

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