Volume 20, Number 31 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 14 - 20, 2007

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Official warns of worsening construction problems

Downtown’s construction-choked streets are not going to clear anytime soon, the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center told Community Board 1 this week.

Bob Harvey, acting executive director of the construction center, presented graphs that show the number of construction projects peaking in 2008 and 2009. There are close to 130 public and private projects in Lower Manhattan, and Harvey hears about new ones every day. Add the construction to a projected 20 percent population increase Downtown in the next two years, and C.B. 1 members are getting concerned.

“2008 is going to be the year of living dangerously,” C.B. 1 member Allen Tannenbaum said. “It looks like a year of hell.” Tannenbaum questioned if all of the construction is possible to do simultaneously. “If one little thing goes wrong, Lower Manhattan would be paralyzed.”

“It is doable,” Harvey responded. “It is going to be difficult. It’s not going to get easier. We’re not on the down slope yet. It won’t be better for 2008-2009.”

Ultimately, though, the projects will improve life in Lower Manhattan, Harvey told the board. “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

— Julie Shapiro

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