Bruce Brodoff Communications
Bruce Brodoff Communications
NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: NEW YORK WATERFRONT; In Bay Ridge, a Great Spot For Looking Out, Not Down
By Tara Bahrampour

When the tall ships sailed into New York Harbor on July 4, residents of Bay Ridge had a perfect viewing spot: the newly rebuilt 69th Street Pier at the end of Bay Ridge Avenue.

But for those who looked toward their feet, the view was less appealing: a sea of unsightly cracks had spread across the $5 million, 7,000-square-foot concrete pier. Diane Johnson, a resident who on Thursday night attended a meeting of the task force that arranged for the rebuilding, said she was alarmed when she spotted the cracks. "I thought, 'My God, it was a poor job,"' she said. "We spent all this money and we didn't get quality."

Bruce Brodoff, a spokesman for the city's Economic Development Corporation, which oversaw the rebuilding, said the cracks were caused by a settling of the concrete and were a normal part of construction. The cracks became an issue, he said, because the corporation rushed to open the pier in time for OpSail 2000, before workers applied a finishing layer to the concrete.

"If this were still back in April," he said, "we would have not opened it to the public and we would have completed the construction process." He added that the pier, which had been closed since 1996, was now closed again to allow workers to fill in the cracks with a polymer resin coat.

At the task force meeting, members applauded the work overall, but complained to the corporation's representatives that they had not been warned of the problem with the concrete.

"Why weren't we told that there would be spider cracks to the point where it would be full of cracks?" said James Johnson, a landscape designer for the nearby Narrows Botanical Gardens.

Kirk Tzanides, chairman of Community Board 10, which created the task force, added, "We never pushed you gentlemen to finish this in a year's time," referring to the July 4 opening.

But Nazir Mir, vice president of the corporation, told the task force that timing was not an issue. "Even if you had given us another year it would have happened," Mr. Mir said. He added that the cracks affected only the top layer of concrete and did not pose a structural problem.

The pier is to open for the police department's National Night Out on Tuesday and then close again until surfacing is completed two weeks later.

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