Volume 22, Number 25 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 30 - November 6, 2009
Wait ‘til next year, Vesey escalator
The escalator on the east side of the Vesey St. bridge has been down for a month and a half, and it could be another three months before it’s fixed.
A severe storm flooded the escalator on Sept. 17, causing the bottom five or six steps to buckle, said Adam Levine, spokesperson for the State Dept. of Transportation. Robin Forst, director of community relations for the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, said if anyone had been on the escalator at the time of the collapse, they could have been seriously injured.
To get the escalator up and running again will require a new chain and other mechanical components that have to be manufactured in Germany by the Schindler Group.
“They aren’t actually on a shelf anywhere,” Levine said of the needed pieces.
It will cost up to $200,000 and take about three months for Schindler to make the parts and ship them to New York, Levine said. The Port Authority is responsible for paying for the bridge maintenance and at first considered not repairing the escalator at all, since the Port is building an extension of the bridge early next year with a new escalator. But the Port agreed this week to fund the repairs, “So we’re moving forward,” Levine said.